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Veterans find purpose, support through motorcycle rides

By | General Posts

by Patrick Filbin from https://www.stripes.com/

(Tribune News Service) — Chris Mathison served three tours in Iraq over a 14-month period.

As a U.S. Army infantryman, he was in charge of millions of dollars worth of equipment, led a team of fellow infantrymen and, all things considered, was a soldier who was depended upon and good at his job.

When he came back home to Tennessee, he had a hard time adjusting.

The Nashville native moved to Cookeville after he got out of the service in 2011 and tried to find a stable job.

“I’ve probably been through 10 jobs,” Mathison said. “It’s hard to find something that fits. You don’t feel like you belong, there’s no sense of purpose or belonging.”

He went to school and received an associate’s degree, but even school was a tough adjustment.

“I remember very fondly when I got out, I was going through a sociology class,” Mathison recalled. “As we were flipping through the book, I found a picture of my unit in Iraq and it just kind of blew my mind.”

Mathison, 35, had a whole life behind him that he had a hard time talking about. Not only was the subject matter sensitive, he couldn’t find like-minded people to talk to. As an infantryman, he was surrounded by people who were going through the same things as he was, living through the same experiences.

When he came back home, he was taking general education courses with 19-year-olds.

“That was interesting,” he said with a smirk.

Soon after he got out, Mathison signed up for his first program with the Wounded Warrior Project, the country’s largest veterans charity organization.

He enrolled in the organization’s TRACK program, which had a curriculum meant to heal, develop and train the mind, body and spirit of each wounded warrior through two semesters of college.

It also incorporated peak performance training, health and wellness training, personal finance advice and a physical education program.

Ever since, he’s been a loyal supporter of the organization that helps veterans in a number of ways.

Wounded Warriors also helped Mathison get certified in scuba diving.

One of the newest programs in Georgia is a 12-week mental health workshop that kicks off with a three-day motorcycle road trip across North Georgia.

Jon Blauvelt, a public relations specialist with Wounded Warriors, said the program is designed to give veterans an outlet to manage PTSD, traumatic brain injury and other invisible wounds of war while connecting with nature and fellow veterans.

Motorcycles play a huge role in the therapy. Through wind and throttle therapy, reflective discussion and several weeks of follow-ups, the group of eight veterans from Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Texas and Florida will experience a once-in-a-lifetime trip while bettering themselves mentally and spiritually.

“When you’re on one of these big bikes, all you’re thinking about is the bike,” Blauvelt said. “I’m on this bike, here are my surroundings, here’s the weather, but you’re not thinking about PTSD or [traumatic brain injury], you’re not thinking about what happened before and you’re not thinking about the future. You’re thinking about the present moment.”

It’s a perfect fit for Mathison, who is also a part of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association.

Mathison and the seven other riders strolled in at the Harley-Davidson store in Dalton, Georgia, on Tuesday afternoon for a lunch hosted by the motorcycle shop.

Cynthia Allgood, manager of the store, said it was a privilege to host the veterans who sacrificed so much for the country without asking for anything in return.

“Something like this gets you together with like-minded individuals and you can talk about everything and it creates a really good atmosphere,” Mathison said. “You’re able to make some really good friends that I would not have met.”

Shared e-scooters aren’t as environmentally friendly as other transport options

By | General Posts

 

A new study has found that e-scooters may be greener than most cars, but they can be less green than several other options.

Washington DC: People who think electric scooters or e-scooters are environmentally friendly, take note!

A new study has found that e-scooters may be greener than most cars, but they can be less green than several other options.

“E-scooter companies tout themselves as having little or no carbon footprint, which is a bold statement,” said Jeremiah Johnson, the corresponding author of the study

“We wanted to look broadly at the environmental impacts of shared e-scooters – and how that compares to other local transportation options.”

To capture the impact of e-scooters, researchers looked at emissions associated with four aspects of each scooter’s life cycle: the production of the materials and components that go into each scooter; the manufacturing process; shipping the scooter from the manufacturer to its city of use; and collecting, charging and redistributing the scooters.

The researchers also conducted a small-scale survey of e-scooter riders to see what modes of transportation they would have used if they hadn’t used an e-scooter.

The researchers found that 49 per cent of riders would have biked or walked; 34 per cent would have used a car; 11 per cent would have taken a bus; and 7 per cent wouldn’t have taken the trip at all.

In order to compare the impact of e-scooters to that of other transport options, the researchers looked at previously published life cycle analyses of cars, buses, electric mopeds, and bicycles.

Researchers looked at four types of pollution and environmental impact: climate change impact; nutrient loading in water; respiratory health impacts related to air pollution; and acidification.

The performance results were similar for all four types of pollution.

“A lot of what we found is pretty complicated, but a few things were clear,” said Johnson.

“Biking – even with an electric bike – is almost always more environmentally friendly than using a shared e-scooter. The sole possible exception is for people who use pay-to-ride bike-share programs. Those companies use cars and trucks to redistribute the bicycles in their service area, which can sometimes make them less environmentally friendly than using an e-scooter.”

By the same token, the study found that driving a car is almost always less environmentally friendly than using an e-scooter.

But some results may surprise you. For example, taking the bus on a route with high ridership is usually more environmentally friendly than an e-scooter.

“We found that the environmental impact from the electricity used to charge the e-scooters is fairly small – about 5 per cent of its overall impact,” said Johnson. “The real impact comes largely from two areas: using other vehicles to collect and redistribute the scooters; and emissions related to producing the materials and components that go into each scooter.”

That means that there are two major factors that contribute to each scooter’s environmental footprint. First is that the less driving that is done to collect and redistribute the scooters, the smaller the impact. The second factor is the scooters’ lifetime: the longer the scooter is in service, the more time it has to offset the impact caused by making all of its constituent parts.

Motorcycle Makers Are Getting Hip to Women-Only Rallies

By | General Posts

Anxious to find new audiences after a decade of declining sales, the giants like Harley-Davidson and BMW Motorrad are finally taking notice of a self-made community.

On Valentine’s Day, Sharry Billings posted a photograph on Instagram. Below the image of herself, her hair a red caramel and her smile open, she wrote: “I love you so much I wanna squeeze you!”

The object of her affection? “All the motorcycles I have owned and will own in the future,” she explained. Alongside the photo of her astride a Harley-Davidson, she wrote that bikes “have changed my life, healed my soul, and brought me more love and friendships than I could have ever imagined.”

Billings goes by @sistermother13 on Instagram, but the main account she oversees is @thelitaslosangeles. The Litas is a group she joined three years ago as a way to connect with other women riders in her city. She’s co-led the L.A. branch for two years. When she joined, it provided her with much-needed healing and camaraderie after her kids grew up and she got divorced. Billings had ridden as a teenager and into her 20s but took a hiatus later. “It was always in my heart,” she says. But when she was married with young children, “I thought it was a little too dangerous.”

After the breakup in 2015, she found herself longing for escape. And adventure. “My prayer at the time was, ‘God, I don’t want to date.’ These men are not happening,” Billings says, laughing. “The first thing that came to my heart was the motorcycle I wanted. It was a Harley.”

She bought the bike, took the ride. Then she joined the Litas. “I’m very grateful to have found my heart again,” Billings says.

Founded in Utah by Jessica Haggett half a decade ago, the Litas have expanded to include hundreds of branches around the world (Litas Denver, Litas Lisbon, Litas Rome), with members ranging from twentysomething singles to 60- and 70-year-old retirees with grandkids. They take regular rides, often along wild back roads, including the Pine Mountain Ridge route near Ojai, Calif., that Billings took with 32 other riders one Saturday in July. It’s about riding with your own style and pace but surrounded by like-minded friends.

“If you’re learning to ride, you’re going to kill yourself riding with men—they ride like bats out of hell!” Billings says. “And women—I’m generalizing here—tend to be more careful. We are mothers, we are sisters, we feel obligated to stay alive.”

The Litas are singular but not uncommon. All across California, Oregon, and Utah, from Texas to New York, women-only motorcycle groups and riding events are springing up like wildflowers. They go by names such as the Miss-Fires (Brooklyn, N.Y.), the Chrome Divas (Austin), and Leather and Lace (Daytona Beach, Fla.). They do regular rides: Tuesday night pizza runs, say, or weekend coffee meetups—and they take periodic excursions to women-only destination events such as the Wild Gypsy Tour, which is organizing a festival in Sturgis, S.D., in August, and the Dream Roll in Ashland, Ore.; it’s early June event near Denver was photographed for this article.

The biggest crowd follows Babes Ride Out, a series of events founded by Anya Violet and Ashmore Ellis in 2013. It started with 50 women riders who gathered to camp out in Borrego Springs, Calif. They built fires, pitched tents, drank beer, and played games on Harleys, Husqvarnas, and Hondas while soaking in nature and one another’s company.

These groups are tapping into an undercurrent of the motorcycle industry. As sales have faltered, dropping more than 40% from 2008 to 2010, then recovering somewhat by 2014 but never to previous levels, manufacturers including Harley-Davidson Inc. and BMW Motorrad have struggled to create appeal beyond their core demographic of older white men. Their efforts include offering electric and less-expensive motorbikes and introducing exciting conceptual prototypes. Female riders offer enthusiasm and youth, and, yes, they’re spending money that brands crave.

The number of women who own motorcycles has almost doubled since 2010, according to a 2018 study by the Motorcycle Industry Council. Today, 19% of owners are women, up from 10% in 2009 and 8% in the late 1990s. And the number of female riders gets higher as you go younger: 22% of Generation X riders are women, and 26% of millennial riders are women. What’s more, the average woman who owns a motorcycle spends $574 annually on maintenance, parts, service, and accessories, while the average man who rides spends $497.

While the industry on the whole dropped 40% from 2008 to 2010, the amount of women who own motorcycles has almost doubled

“We are riding a ton,” says Joy Lewis, who started when she was 12. “I have a friend who put 20,000 miles on her bike in one year.” Lewis’s father, an Alaskan crab fisherman who owned a Harley, got her hooked. “We spend a lot of money on our gear and our bikes, and a lot of things to go with them. I think that’s starting to be appreciated.”

Andy Jefferson, a spokesman for Husqvarna, says one of the brand’s priorities must be to provide support for women’s motorcycling. “We were like everyone else—going after a piece of the pie,” he says. “But everyone was looking at men, and there are all these other people—women—that nobody even really talks about in conversations about how to sell more bikes.” The brand lacks figures for how many of its owners are women but is “working to change that,” Jefferson says. “That’s part of the problem.”

Husqvarna honed in on women riders five years ago when it started sponsoring Babes in the Dirt, an offshoot of Babes Ride Out that’s more focused on off-road and dirt-bike riding. Last year the company spent $50,000 to $60,000 in support of the three-day rally, lending 27 motorcycles and nine staffers to service the bikes and teach.

“We counted between 80 and 100 girls out there [trying out] Husqvarnas,” he says. “The number is not huge by any means, but those are 100 people we didn’t have before. It also jumps down to their brothers and sisters and kids. We never would have got these people without doing this.”

But more important, “we want to get you to ride a motorcycle,” Jefferson adds. “If you ride with Babes and have fun and go buy another brand, great. We just want people riding.”

At BMW Motorrad, which on July 1 named Trudy Hardy vice president for the Americas, the company is sponsoring women-only events including the Sisters’ Centennial Motorcycle Ride. It’s also covering travel expenses and appearance fees for brand reps such as Elspeth Beard, an architect who was the first British woman to ride her motorcycle around the world. The brand also sends pro racer Jocelin Snow and Erin Sills, who holds a 242 mph land speed record, to attend events at local dealerships.

Harley-Davidson has expanded its retail line in recent years to include a host of riding jackets, helmets, boots, and gloves sized and styled for women. It’s perhaps the most critical field of growth for the 116-year-old Wisconsin brand, which has seen sales steadily decline since 2014. The average age of a Harley owner is 50. The average price of one is $15,800—more than many millennials will spend on a car, let alone a motorcycle.

“Even just in the last five years the conversation has shifted,” says motorcycle aficionado Lewis. “I’m sitting here in leather Kevlar pants as we speak, about to go into a meeting. Not only are companies making cute technical stuff that you could wear to work—rather than some weird leather pants with pink embroidery all over the butt that you’d never wear—they’re making things we can actually use.”

Attendees at events for Babes Ride Out (or BRO, the ironic abbreviation they’ve adopted) come to America from as far away as Sweden and South America. Some have ridden since they could walk; some can’t operate a bike at all, preferring always to be a passenger and imbibe the inspirational atmosphere. There’s always plenty of denim and leather on-site—but the hipster kind, not the leather-daddy look. Local shops give classes on basic bike maintenance. Some women get tattoos to commemorate the experience.

“People camp, and there are trailers, too,” Lewis says. “The idea is that you grab coffee and breakfast, and then during the day everyone is out riding. And then all the stuff happens in the evenings with bands or karaoke and slow races”—feats of throttle control.

Earlier this year, a 96-year-old woman joined them at camp; she’d first ridden cross-country on her motorcycle 75 years ago. Last summer the annual California desert meetup saw 1,700 women ride in Yucca Valley; 500 attended an East Coast campout in the Catskill Mountains in New York; 700 attended the most recent Babes in the Dirt in Lebec, Calif.

“Maybe people think that women who ride are pretty tough and badass, which is probably true, but all in all, women riders come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and lifestyles, so any label that you want to give them does not really work,” co-founder Violet says. “I can honestly say that there is no ‘type’ … and we like it that way!”

Be Here Next for Motor-Loving Ladies

The Dream Roll
Set at New Frontier Ranch in the southern wilds of Oregon, the Dream Roll offers camping, tattoos, dirt trails, an on-site bar, and water activities near stunningly picturesque Crater Lake. Aug. 23–25; Ashland, Ore.

Wild Gypsy Tour – Sturgis Buffalo Chip
The biggest and baddest Gypsy festival of the year, the five-day South Dakota event will appeal to the truly unbridled spirit with Super Hooligan races, minibike showdowns, the Wall of Death—and multiple concerts including Keith Urban, Toby Keith, Snoop Dogg, and Styx. Aug. 3–7; Sturgis, S.D.

Babes in the Dirt East
A mix of flat-track and motocross riding gives dirt-loving ladies a place to experience and perfect their off-roading skills. Where Babes Ride Out focuses on asphalt routes, here you’ll be on trails. Sept. 20–22; Greenville, Tenn.

Babes Ride Out 7 – Central Coast
BRO 7 will include the jewels of years past: karaoke, free beer, performances from local bands, route maps for area rides, and hands-on classes for working on your bike. B.Y.O. tent. Oct. 11–13; Santa Margarita, Calif.

Here’s a great investment story

By | General Posts

This 2004 Bourget Low Blow Chopper with only 6,027 miles has been detailed and put through NH state inspection. It runs, rides, and hauls ass. Powered by a 113 cubic inch v-twin engine with a 6-speed transmission, the Low Blow produces 103 hp and 115 foot-pounds of torque. It has a seat height of 21″ and a dry weight of 550 lbs. It has been upgraded with a Primo open primary, an aftermarket exhaust, and a JIMS 6-speed transmission, and comes equipped with an S&S Super G carburetor and a 200mm rear wheel. This vehicle does not pass NH state inspection due to front brakes that are contaminated with fluid, an exhaust that is above NH decibel limits, and an excess of rake in the front end.

We encourage you to see and hear this bike in person. Nobody here is on commission and we are happy to take as much time with you as you need. We do not charge any dealer fees either! If you cannot see it in person, we will be happy to do a live inspection via Skype or Facetime. Please call 603-410-4120 for more info.

At National Powersports, we buy a lot of bikes! While many are fully serviced and sold with a warranty, some will not go through the process due to a variety of reasons, including special purchases, overstock of the same model, high mileage, running or cosmetic condition, or a simple lack of shop availability. We sell these vehicles “as-is” from our Outlet location in Merrimack, NH, as well as in our Pembroke, NH location. We call them Opportunity Vehicles, as they are sold at a substantial discount.

If you are not comfortable buying a vehicle as-is, we have hundreds of bikes in stock at our Pembroke location that are fully serviced and come with a warranty. Click HERE to view our Premium Inventory.

PRICE: $8995
MILES: 6027 (Actual Mileage)
VIN: 1B9BLY8A54A393464
COLOR: BLUE W/FLAMES
ITEM ID: 45956
CATEGORY: CHOPPER

Choppers will never die!–Bandit

Weekly News and ROT Rally – join the Cantina

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What’s hip and what’s real?

We see it constantly around us. It’s one of the things I liked about being a biker. It was just me and my motorcycle. I wore what I wore for me and nobody else. Most of us looked like hell most of the time. Who cared?

Life is changing fast and in many respects I don’t like the business formula thrust on us by many companies. I try to keep Bandit’s Cantina and Bikernet simple and to the point, no games.

As I often say behind a bottle of whiskey. “Time will tell and shit will smell,” as told to me by a Richmond Hells Angel when I was a prospect.

READ THE WEEKLY NEWS BY CLICKING HERE

Texas ROT Rally hits a homerun

This is a ’70s style event where alcohol meets full-frontal nudity. Over 200,000 made the annual pilgrimage to the Austin area to party like it was 1999 and with a good number of them entering the rally.

The ROT is a throwback rally where the Harley faithful connect at the Travis County Expo Center for music, stunt shows, vendors and custom bikes.

READ THE ROT RALLY REPORT BY CLICKING HERE

Manheim Indianapolis Bike Sale

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Join us Wednesday, May 1st at 10am ET for over 125+ bikes from our trusted seller, Harley-Davidson Financial Services, and other dealer consignment!
 
View Inventory here

Join us in lane or via Simulcast! For more information call our Specialty Department at 317.527.2165, reply to this email, or call Nick Anderson at 317.385.3208.

Our mailing address is:
Manheim Indianapolis
3110 S Post Rd
Indianapolis, IN 46239

Lifestyle Cycles has some job positions open

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Lifestyle Cycles has some positions open, so take a look below and see if you (or someone your know) would be a perfect fit for our team!

Come Join the Coolest Team on the Planet

BIKE SALESPERSON POSITION
Do you eat, sleep and breathe Harley-Davidson motorcycles? Do you have an upbeat, enthusiastic personality and love talking with people? Are you a self-starter with a “can-do” personality? Are a fast learner? Do you like dogs? If so (or you know of someone that is) Lifestyle Cycles wants to talk to YOU! We’re looking the best of the best to join our pre-owned motorcycle sales team! Send in a resume and cover letter (we’ll ditch resumes without a cover letter just to see if you are thorough and can follow directions) telling us why you’re the best person for the position to dan@lifestylecycles.com

APPAREL SALES ASSOCIATE
Want a job at the coolest place on the planet? Lifestyle Cycles has an opening for an Apparel Sales Team Member! Full and part time positions are available. Do you have a sparkling fun personality and love the motorcycle culture? Do you have a strong work ethic, and love helping people? Do you have a keen fashion sense and like dogs? Then we want to hear from you! Send in a resume and cover letter (we’ll ditch resumes without a cover letter just to see if you are thorough and can follow directions) telling us why you’re the best person for the position to dan@lifestylecycles.com

 

 

Zero Motorcycles announces new financing round

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Following the recent launch of its industry-shaking SR/F model, Zero Motorcycles today announced the close of a $25 million funding round, bringing the brand’s aggregate equity capital raised to over $250 million. With 13 years of experience developing the most power- and energy-dense EV technology in powersports, Zero leads the industry with a global supply chain and distribution network, and a broad portfolio of effortlessly powerful, safe and reliable electric mototcycles.

ZERO MOTORCYCLES ANNOUNCES NEW FINANCING ROUND BRINGING AGGREGATE INVESTMENT TO OVER $250 MILLION

SANTA CRUZ, Calif., (April 23, 2019) On the heels of the successful launch of its transformational SR/F model, Zero Motorcycles, the global electric motorcycle sales and innovation leader, announced today the close of a $25 million funding round, bringing its aggregate equity capital raised to over $250 million.

With 13 years of experience, Zero Motorcycles has developed the most power- and energy-dense EV technology in powersports and has built Zero into the leading brand with a global supply chain and distribution network, and a broad portfolio of products, which are effortlessly powerful, safe, reliable, and delight our riders every time they twist the throttle.

“At Zero Motorcycles, we’ve been defining the electric motorcycle category since our inception in 2006,” said Sam Paschel, CEO of Zero Motorcycles. “To build a company like Zero is not easy. You need to build a leading EV technology business, an industrial business, and consumer-branded business all at once. In addition to break-through innovation and R&D investment, this takes time, hard work, and significant capital. Zero has been capital efficient over the years, and our committed and consistent backing has enabled us to fully fund our strategy and to succeed when others have failed. We sell more electric motorcycles annually than all of our competitors combined and with our strong capital base, know-how, brand, and team, we will continue to be the driving force behind two-wheeled and broader powersports electrification. We look forward to the next few years as both adoption and innovation continue to accelerate.”

For more information on Zero Motorcycles please visit www.zeromotorcycles.com.

About Zero Motorcycles
Zero Motorcycles is the global leader in electric motorcycles and powertrains. Designed and crafted by hand in California, Zero Motorcycles combines Silicon Valley technology with traditional motorcycle soul to elevate the motorcycling experience for smart, innovative riders around the world.

Cutting-edge electric two-wheelers around the world

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With the advent of electric mobility across the globe, automobile companies have started preparing for electric vehicles with the transfusion of latest technologies and groundbreaking designs. We present to you some of the latest prototype designs in the recent years.

Evoke 6061 by Evoke Motorcycles
Evoke Motorcycles’s Evoke 6061 name is derived from the “Twin Plate Frame” which uses precision laser cutting process from solid T6-6061 aluminium billet pieces. It has a 120 kW (160 bhp) motor with a chain final drive, and provides over 272 Nm of torque. The batteries are said to offer a higher top speed than the Evoke’s previous Urban Series electric motorcycle which gave 130 kmph.

The Mission One by Mission Motors
The bike exhibits a top speed of 150 mph along with a range of 150 miles. It is expected to deliver faster acceleration as compared to other gasoline sports bike and does not require to shift gears.

LiveWire by Harley Davidson
LiveWire is one of the most anticipated e-motorcycle among all and is expected to roll out in the US later this year. The two-wheeler is equipped with a telematics system called H-D Connect. This updates owner about details via an app. It is expected to come at a price of $ 29,799.

Moto Undone by Joey Ruiter
This bike is certainly one of the most unique two-wheelers one could own. It is not shaped like a basic motorcycle and does not even have paints. Moreover, it does not make any noise as well. It has a range of 90 miles or three hours.

Zeus by Curtiss Motorcycles
Zeus was presented as a prototype a year ago. This electric bike has a range of 450 km with 140kW power. The production of this $60,000 bike will begin next year. Curtis Motorcycles have started acce