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Black Biker History

By General Posts

Here is a photo of Bessie Stringfield on her (from what I can tell anyways) 1940 61-cubic-inch Harley-Davidson OHV. Also known as the Knucklehead.

Recognizing Black History Month 2022
by Nick Resty and Mama Tried

I do not claim to be an expert on any historical MC stuff, but I have always found it fascinating.

Being a guy who tries to emulate what others have done in the past, I have always found it to be important and respectful to learn the history of the source of my passion.

One aspect of chopper history that has always fascinated me are the black chopper builders and motorcycle clubs. That being said, I’ll just spout off things that I have learned through my chopper years thus far.

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Springer Transformation – Custom Building Adventure

By General Posts

Sturgis 2008. Rode this bike from Houston to Sturgis.

The Springer Transformation
My Education into Bike Customization for the Poor, Unskilled, Wanna-be Biker.
By Johnny White with photos by his lovely wife

I bought this Springer Classic in August 2005 – right after my inaugural trip to Sturgis on the 100th Anniversary – from Mancuso Harley-Davidson in Houston, Texas after seeing it on the showroom floor.

I had gotten a gift card for my recent birthday and decided to get a t-shirt. Well, the t-shirt cost me more than $25,000.

I rode the bike bone stock for an entire year. I had made the famous lying quote more than once to my better half, “I love it just the way she is, I won’t change a thing.”

For a whole year that rung true. Most of my trips were back and forth to work or the gym.

Most of my changes were like most people, limited by
1) my financial situation and
2) my ability.

I also had one other caveat, in that whatever change I made had to be completed in time for me to go to work as my bike was my main transport.

So, as I started, the bike remained stock until the ride to Sturgis in 2006.

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Why Harley-Davidson Dealers Struggle

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Where Are We Headed?
by Stealth with photos from Sam Burns

I have been thinking about this for a good while now. I THOUGHT I was done with the Harley-Davidson dealer business, but every time I try to get out, I get pulled back in but probably not for long.

I have seen this business in the ‘90s. It was wide open. People standing in line to buy bikes, but not today. Next time you are at a dealership check out how many new bikes you see.

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Idaho State Police Shiny Side Up Motorcycle Rally

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by Kalama Hines from https://www.eastidahonews.com

ISP hosting motorcycle safety rally Saturday

POCATELLO — Approximately 80 percent of motorcycle crashes can be attributed to operator error, according to Idaho State Police Sergeant Andrew Nakashima.

That is why ISP is partnering with Grand Teton Harley Davidson to host a free motorcycle safety class Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Shiny Side Up Motorcycle Rally will be held at Hillcrest High School, and feature training for motorcycle riders from beginner to experienced veteran, because, as Nakashima told EastIdahoNews.com, there is a lot of “bad information floating around.”

“There’s a lot of benefits to be gained from training,” he said. “I used to ride a motorcycle before I got this job, and everything I learned was from the guys I rode with — telling me to do this and don’t do that. Having gone through a formal training program to be a police motor, I realized how much of that was false.”

Nakashima recently transferred to Pocatello’s new ISP Motorcycle division from Meridian, where officers host a motorcycle safety training event every year. He hopes this event will have a similar effect, providing local riders with necessary safety courses annually.

The event, which will feature vendors and food trucks, is open to the public. To take part in the training courses, however, riders will need a motorcycle endorsement or training permit and proof of insurance.

No experience is needed, though.

“If you buy a motorcycle Saturday morning and you ride it on down to Hillcrest High School, we’ll have some riding coaches there and we’ll take you through the very beginner (course),” Nakashima said. “If you’ve been riding for a while, we’ve got some other patterns you can try your hand at. … But it’s not just for beginners. If you’ve been riding for 20 years, you might be surprised what you can learn just going through an intermediate cornering class.”

Along with instruction from ISP, riding coaches from Grand Teton Harley Davidson and Idaho STAR — Skills Training Advantage for Riders — will be in attendance.

Instruction will focus on the factors that play a role in operator-error crashes, including proper cornering and safe lane changing, along with collision avoidance.

“One of the driving forces behind this event is getting people to realize that you are responsible for your own safety,” Nakashima said. “It’s not up to cars to watch for you. It’s not good enough to put a loud pipe on your bike and say ‘loud pipes save lives.’ We really want to push the training aspect for riders.

“Motorcycles need training. That’s pretty much the bottom line.”

Torrot’s New Enduro Motorcycles for Kids

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by Otilia Drăgan from https://www.autoevolution.com

Torrot’s New Enduro Motorcycles for Kids, Double the Fun While Keeping Them Safe

The world of enduro can be just as exciting for kids as it is for adults, as long as parents can make sure that everything is safe and under control. Already known for making motorbikes for children, Torrot has recently launched a second-generation range, perfect for introducing the little ones to this great sport.

Spanish-based Torrot is not a newcomer on the market. In fact, it’s got quite a history since its foundation in 1948, which led to eventually developing electric bikes, in the last few years. The company’s KIDS range was meant to help children begin practicing for enduro and off-road trials. Kids could start to learn by riding on on-road tracks, with the help of one of the 3 models in the series, Trial One, Motocross One and Supermotard One.

Torrot has recently upgraded all the models in the series, for even better performance, but with the same excellent safety and control features. All 3 electric motorbikes come with new LiMnCo batteries that are lighter, which makes them easier to remove and recharge. And, in terms of components, they are made with a chrome-molybdenum chassis, a hydraulic aluminum front fork from EBR and MITAS tires.

The Trial Two, Motocross Two and Supermotard Two have a maximum speed of 24.8 mph (40 kph), and the best part is that the Torrot electric engine comes with a programmable controller. The power can be programmed from 600W up to 1500W, which is perfect for progressive learning and also makes the riding experience much safer.

Parents can do more than just adjust the power, thanks to the company’s ingenious “Parental Control” system. By simply using the Torrot KIDS App on their phone, parents can remotely make sure that their little riders are safe. They can configure power levels, speed and throttle response, limiting them when it’s necessary and they can even disconnect the motorbike completely.

Trial Two is currently available for orders, with a $3,180 (€ 2,599) price tag, and the other 2 models can be pre-ordered, for the slightly higher price of $3,300 (€2,699).

Motogo teaching confidence, building grit through motorcycles

By General Posts

by Taylor Bruck from https://www.mynews13.com

CLEVELAND — Not everyone learns in the same way. Some people are visual learners, some are auditory, some learn better through reading and writing and others are kinesthetic learners, which is another way of saying “hands-on.”

What You Need To Know

  • The nonprofit Motogo teaches young people life skills through motorcycles
  • They teach students how to take apart a motorcycle and put it back together
  • They do that by bringing back shop class through partnerships with schools and community organizations
  • Motogo helps students learn from their failures and build self-confidence, resilience and grit

“I’ve always been a hands-on learner, and I can relate to students who have a hard time sitting still in class. I think I played sports my whole life because that’s how I learned. I learned by doing and using my hands,” said Molly Vaughn, the executive director of Motogo, a nonprofit in Cleveland.

With a majority of funding tied to high test scores in schools, many districts in the U.S. eliminated their shop classes in the 70s or 80s. She and her husband Brian Schaffran are bringing it back.

“He’s the head coach at Motogo. I love being his boss,” said Vaughn.

Schaffran owns Skidmark Garage, and in 2017 alongside Vaughn, the two founded its nonprofit educational wing, Motogo. Motogo is a mobile shop class with a mission to teach kids to solve problems and build grit and confidence through building motorcycles.

Schaffran is a former high school math and history teacher. It wasn’t until he could use his hands that he really fell in love with learning.

“Once I just learned by doing, then that woke my motivation up to take as many college classes as I could and learn as much as I could about everything in the world,” said Schaffran. “Getting a kid to memorize is one thing, but getting a kid to love to learn is the ultimate goal, and shop class helps some students wake up that love of learning.”

He’s not alone. Many people prefer to learn by doing.

“I find it easier, like when you’re actually like in the field doing something, not just like reading off a book,” said Liam Michael, a junior at Saint Martin de Porres High School, a school currently hosting an after-school Motogo program.

“It’s different. I’s something I never thought about doing so it’s fun doing it and learning,” said Maladdia Williams, a freshman at Saint Martin de Porres High School.

Motogo has already been in more than 20 different schools and community organizations. They offer quarter-long and full semester in-school and out-of-school STEM curriculums, as well as week-long summer camps for middle and high school students.

“It helps me figure out what I want to do. I mean, the more knowledge, the better,” said Elijah Williams, a sophomore at Saint Martin de Porres High School.

“I learned a lot about the tools. Like I really didn’t know any tool names or like all the different sizes and stuff,” said Summer Onwundinjo, a freshman at Saint Martin de Porres High School.

Motogo aims to be that outlet to teach young people that there’s a place for everyone to succeed in life, regardless of what motivates them.

“This isn’t a boy’s world, and this isn’t a boy’s job. This is everybody’s job,” said Schaffran. “Girls are better at this and should be trying this and should be getting their hands dirty. And I hope that it’s going to take a generation or two, but I think this is the beginning of a permanent change in who gets to do what, and who’s better at what, and who gets to experience this kind of confidence and victories.”

Motogo also aims to give them the physical and metaphorical tools to succeed in life, helping young people realize that failing is just another word for learning. If at first effort doesn’t work, try and try again.

“We just want to be one opportunity, maybe find the kids that haven’t found that thing that sparks them yet,” said Vaughn. “We’re really a unique opportunity to make someone feel valued, who feels left out, whether a student wants to go into a manufacturing career or they want to go into something more like becoming a doctor or a lawyer, or they’re going to be a stay-at-home parent one day. It doesn’t really matter what the end product is. We know that by taking shop classes again, that it’s going to rewire their brain to kind of think about the way you approach the world differently.”

“A lot of people don’t know that they can fix the world around them and they don’t have the confidence to even try most of the time. Hopefully, after going through a Motogo course, they just gain a little bit more nerve, a little bit more confidence than they’re willing to try and grab a tool and figure it out and problem solve,” said Schaffran. “Whatever problem that someone comes across, I hope that they say to themselves, well, I rebuilt a motorcycle. If I did that, I can do this.”

For more information on Motogo visit their website.