The San Francisco chapter of the Iron Order Motorcycle Club doesn’t usually concern itself much with self-driving cars, but autonomous vehicle company Aurora recently spent the day driving around with the club’s bikers.
Aurora, the company co-founded by former Tesla Autopilot head Sterling Anderson, is developing an autonomous driving system it calls Aurora Driver. That system, like all self-driving programs, needs practice on the road, whether that’s in autonomous mode logging real-world miles on public roads, in a computer simulation, or being manually driven. Its perception system is taking in everything around it: pedestrians, bicycles, other cars, trucks, delivery vans, e-scooters, errant shopping carts, construction crews, and, yes, motorcycles. That data is used to predict and react to future scenarios on the road.
Motorcycle sightings aren’t rare, but to make sure the machines were more familiar and comfortable around this specific vehicle Aurora needed to devote a machine-learning day to this one vehicle type.
So the perception team gathered a group of six motorcyclists to simply drive around the Aurora vehicles. (Aurora isn’t developing the actual cars, but the tech that will work in a car to make it drive autonomously). The cars were in manual mode for the motorcycle testing since it just needed to collect the data. The motorcycle cycle club brought some volunteers and even some Aurora employees and one employee’s dad came out to ride the motorcycles.
Being a tech company, Motorcycle Learning Day (that’s what I’ve dubbed the special motorcycle event) wasn’t a free-for-all with revving and vrooming around. The data team wanted to collect specific information from a variety of scenarios that autonomous cars are likely to encounter in the real world.
First up was testing different “positions,” meaning motorcycles in the same lane as the car, in front of, behind, or next to the car. Then it was “approaches:” Oncoming motorcycles are different than motorcycles passing from behind. Motorcycles also ride in front of cars.
Motorcycles are quick and nimble, so the autonomous vehicle experienced different scenarios where the motorcycle approached in different ways (from behind, oncoming, in front) at different speeds. The cars also practiced stopping with a motorcycle in front, since that’s a different experience than with a sedan or other cars.
For the motorcycle aficionados with strong allegiances to certain brands, the best part was testing out on different types of motorcycles: an Indian Motorcycle, four Harley-Davidsons, a KTM sports dirt bike, and a Yamaha cruiser bike all rode around the autonomous cars. The best autonomous vehicles will know their Harleys from their Yamahas.
Motorcycle Learning Day wasn’t a one-and-done deal — the self-driving cars are never done learning, but this was like a mega-study session. Now the system has a robust data set about motorcycles and anything that looks and acts like a motorcycle on the road.
Motorcycle Live returns to the NEC this weekend and you can still get tickets
The two wheeled extravaganza runs from 16th – 24th November
by Scott Dickinson from https://www.birminghammail.co.uk
Strap on your helmets because the UK’s largest motorcycle show rides back into Birmingham this weekend with even more attractions for the entire family.
The biking exhibition, in association with Bikesure Insurance, proved very popular last year pulling in 103,702 fans and over 40 of the world’s leading manufacturers.
Motorcycle Live runs from 16th-24th November 2019 at the NEC, Birmingham
This year’s attendance is set to spike with the introduction of brand new content for the little ones. This includes the Arenacross Toddler’s experience for kids too young for an electric bike, but still want to get involved. The show is also introducing a Live Treasure Hunt that will encourage under 10s to explore the show, answering questions and winning prizes.
Motorcycle Live has notoriously always had family at heart, ensuring the day of biking is a thrill for people of all ages. This year 4-12 year olds can get in gear and ride an electric bike on a learner-friendly track. Those aged seven or over can try out OSET machines in the ACU Try Trials.
However, the Moto-Cirque Arena proves the main attraction for most families, showcasing professional riders performing incredible aerial FMX stunts. The neon spectacular remains a treat for the senses, and motorheads across the UK can’t wait to see it.
The Social Hub is also set to reappear following its overwhelming success last year, inviting attendees to meet their favourite moto-vloggers, bloggers and media personalities. The space is theirs to do what they please, so get ready to creatively interact with some of your online icons!
With all of this, incredible competitions and even cheaper parking than 2018’s show (£10 when booked in advance and £12 on the door), the exhibition is unmissable.
With free entry for kids under five and just £1.00 entry for 6-16 year olds (excluding admin fee), other tickets are priced at £10.80/ £12.00/£17.55/£19.50/£25.00 (excluding admin fee).
Norton Motorcycles the 121-year-old legendary British motorcycle company, is planning to raise capital on Crowdcube.
Norton Motorcycles UK Ltd is seeking £1 million to help fill product pipeline orders and to continue to innovate and develop its bikes. Additionally, the company states that the offering’s objective is to give global customers and bike enthusiasts a chance to become part of the heritage company, “profiting from its continued success.” While the offering page is not yet live, you may register your interest in participating in the securities offering here.
Earlier this month, Norton gave £1 million worth of shares to its employees.
Norton’s current CEO Stuart Garner bought the company in 2008 with little experience in bike manufacturing but a passion from the brand, and has since kept it going expanding its line and exporting bikes around the world.
Norton shares the following data points:
Cumulative sales of £43m with profitable and growing revenue
Year on Year EBITDA growth of 55% with forecast EBITDA growth of 65%
£15 million invested into R&D to deliver a fully developed model range
Successful new model launches giving a £30m order book
15,000Sq ft new production facility to increase current production
Only British motorcycle manufacturer to design, engineer and fabricate all of its chassis’ in its UK
The details of the securities offering are not yet available along with the valuation and current year financials but these should be made available once the offering is live on Crowdcube.
You can review the most recent financials on its Companies House page including year-end financials from 2018 that are an interesting read.
The motorcycles are beautiful bikes – you cannot argue with that. If you saw the James Bond film Spectre you would have seen a Norton blessing the screen.
Garner says Norton has a proud history of engineering exclusive British motorcycles:
“… it’s thanks to our skilled workforce and experienced management team which has allowed the brand to thrive and continue to build globally recognised bikes. It is thanks to our deep connection with our riders, owners and the motorcycle community that we are following our gift of £1m share to our staff with looking to build a successful long term shareholder base from the wider community itself.”
Garner adds that during the past 10 years they have developed a niche in the motorcycle industry designing stunning bikes and producing them in low volume – all hand-built in Great Britain.
Garner claims that new models, the V4 and 650 range, have generated a £30 million order book. Look for the offering to go live on Crowdcube in the coming weeks.
Ottobike MXR comes powered by an 11 kW continuous rated mid-drive motor that has a liquid cooling system along with electric speed controller.
Taiwan-based Ottobike has showcased a fully electric dirtbike concept at the 2019 EICMA Milan motorcycle show, dubbed as the Ottobike MXR.
The MXR stands for Maxi Extreme Rider and this motorcycle concept is capable of running at a speed of 120 kmph, claims a media report. It comes powered by an 11 kW continuous rated mid-drive motor that has a liquid cooling system along with electric speed controller.
The electric dirt bike is claimed to have a maximum torque output of 45 Nm and it weighs 100 kg.
The dirtbike looks rugged and aggressive. Instead of a proper headlamp, it gets three vertically positioned LED bars, while an LCD dashboard is there, which displays a wide range of information. Ottobike has used Android OS for the display to show the riders GPS directions, live maps and incoming calls, among other features, as claimed by the report.
It houses a non-removable battery that has a capacity of nearly 5 kWh and a 1.2 kW battery charger as well. Ottobike claims the bike’s battery takes 2.25 hours for a 20-80 per cent charge, while to get fully charged it requires around 4 hours of time.
by Janaki Jitchotvisut from https://www.rideapart.com
Ducati does it again!
Which of the many bikes unveiled at EICMA 2019 has haunted your dreams?? If you said “Ducati Streetfighter V4, obviously,” you’re not alone. Venerable Italian motorcycle publication Motociclismo conducted its fifteenth annual poll, both of EICMA attendees and its readers at home. Guess which bike won?
According to both EICMA attendees and readers who sadly couldn’t attend the show in person, the Ducati Streetfighter V4 was voted the most beautiful motorcycle of EICMA 2019. Motociclismo took to the MotoLive stage at EICMA to present the awards. Ducati design director Andrea Ferraresi and Streetfighter V4 designer Jeremy Faraud were both on hand to accept the official award.
When all the numbers were tallied, the winner stood out by a mile. Not only did the Ducati Streetfighter V4 top the charts; it commanded a solid 36.7 percent of the vote. Second place went to the Aprilia RS 660 which received less than half the votes of the Streetfighter V4— just 14.9 percent.
Third place was the MV Agusta Superveloce 800, with 11.23 percent of the vote. Fourth was the Honda CBR1000RR-R SP, with 9.43 percent, and fifth was the Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel, with just 4.76 percent of the vote. That makes Honda the only non-Italian manufacturer to crack the top five.
Interestingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, Motociclismo also reported that there was a difference in rankings for some bikes between voters who saw them in person, and voters who participated from home.
The top four bikes among both groups of voters were the same, but from number five down, results are markedly different between those who saw these models only on screens, vs. those who saw them live. For example, a lot more people who saw the BMW F 900 R in person seemed to appreciate it than those who simply saw it at home.
You can check out the full results of the poll—including the EICMA/home voter breakdown—over at Motociclismo.
Thousands of Bikers Cruise into Sin City for the 19th Annual Vegas BikeFest®, October 3-6, 2019
LAS VEGAS (November 4, 2019) – Thousands of riders and motorcycle enthusiasts from the United States and 17 countries around the world cruised into Las Vegas for the nineteenth annual Vegas BikeFest at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center. The action packed, four-day rally delivered an abundance of activities and attractions.
“This year, through our partnership with John Oakes and Freeze Management, the rally was about bringing more experiences to our attendees and attracting new attendees. With the addition of the Hooligan Dirt Dash Flat Track Racing taking place at the Plaza Hotel and Casino’s Core Arena, the Bell Brawl at Red Rock Harley-Davidson, and the return of the Artistry In Iron custom bike show display, a new type of energy was felt throughout the entire rally”, states Mindi Cherry, Event Manager.
Vegas BikeFest 2019 offered attendees a variety of entertainment at the rally including Moonshine Bandits on Friday night and the always entertaining metal band Steel Panther on Saturday night. Carol Lyn’s Herstory of Rock kicked off the weekend on Thursday night. In addition to the concerts, attendees had the opportunity to explore over 100 vendor booths filled with motorcycles, parts, accessories, apparel and more.
Vegas BikeFest partnered with V-Twin Visionary and Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys to give away a custom Harley-Davidson Street Glide on Saturday night. Valerie W. from Fontana, CA, was the lucky recipient of the bike that included custom parts from Leading Edge, Saddlemen Seats, Bassani Xhaust, Klock Werks, and ThunderMax.
In addition to the motorcycle, Vegas BikeFest gave away over $100,000 in prizes and cash, including $5,000 in BikeFest Bucks Shopping Sprees that was spent with vendors at the rally. The always popular Miss Vegas BikeFest did not disappoint along with other crowd favorites Best Facial Hair Contest, Bikini Contest, Tattoo Contest and Biker Bingo. Poker Walks, Poker Run, and Lady Luck Fun Run were big hits and mulligan sales raised $2,500 to benefit the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation.
Vegas BikeFest featured four different bike shows kicking it off on Thursday with Full Throttle Magazine’s Ride-In Bike Show featuring over 10 different categories. Best in Show went to Anthony Robinson with his 1966 Triumph T-100. On Friday, V-Twin Visionary Performance Bike Show debuted with Best of Show going to Ramjet Racing with the completely custom ’03 Dyna. Saturday was the Vegas BikeFest Custom Bike Show sponsored by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys; with over 15 categories. Brian Hendricks with his 2011 Harley-Davidson Road Glide won People’s Choice while Anthony Robinson’s 1966 Triumph T-100 took home Best in Show. On Sunday, the Sick Chicks, No Dipsticks (All Female Bike Show) debuted at the rally, adding to the festivities with a great showing of all female owned bikes.
Hooligan Dirt Dash brought two nights of flat track racing to Vegas BikeFest with Mikey Virus taking first place on both nights of racing.
Plans are already underway for the 2020 Las Vegas BikeFest in downtown Las Vegas, with dates set for October 1-4, 2020.
Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters, has crossed yet another milestone in its illustrious journey, with its manufacturing facility at Haridwar, in the northern Indian hill state of Uttarakhand achieving the unique distinction of surpassing 25 million units in cumulative production.
The manufacturing facility, commissioned in April 2008, has achieved the milestone in just over 11 years of operation – an industry record. The Haridwar facility of Hero MotoCorp is also the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturing plant with an installed capacity to produce 9500 vehicles per day.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Vikram Kasbekar, Executive Director (Operations) and Chief Technology Officer, Hero MotoCorp said, “This is a significant milestone for not just our Haridwar manufacturing plant, but also the entire organization. The manufacturing practices that we follow at Hero MotoCorp have always set new benchmarks in the industry. The production of 25 million two-wheelers at our Haridwar plant in such a short period of time since its commencement of operation bears testimony to the dedication and competency of the team. We are grateful to all our valued customers, partners, investors, the state government of Uttarakhand and all other stakeholders for their continued support and faith in us..”
Keeping Hero MotoCorp’s focus on sustainability, the Haridwar manufacturing facility has the world’s largest green-roof, spread over 4500 sq. mtr. The plant produces 1.95 MW of solar power, has zero liquid discharge and a lake for rain water harvesting.
The plant produces Hero MotoCorp’s popular motorcycles – HF Deluxe, Splendor+, Splendor iSmart 110, Passion Pro and Passion 110. With a robust supply chain, it sources 75% (in value) of the parts from industries within Uttarakhand.
Hero MotoCorp currently has seven globally benchmarked manufacturing facilities, including five in India and one each in Bangladesh and Colombia. The plants located in India are at Gurugram and Dharuhera in Haryana, Neemrana in Rajasthan, Halol in Gujarat and Haridwar.
The Company’s eighth manufacturing facility is coming up at Chittoor in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
The combined installed annual production capacity of Hero MotoCorp is currently around nine million units.
Shares of HERO MOTOCORP LTD. was last trading in BSE at Rs.2705.05 as compared to the previous close of Rs. 2683.05. The total number of shares traded during the day was 14182 in over 1019 trades.
The stock hit an intraday high of Rs. 2715.9 and intraday low of 2688.4. The net turnover during the day was Rs. 38353159.
The Ultimate combination of Performance, Comfort and Technology.
Dominating passing power from our all-new, liquid-cooled PowerPlus V-twin engine. All-day comfort from a chassis-mounted fairing and power adjustable windscreen. Next-level riding experience with Smart Lean Technology™ and new Ride Command system with real-time traffic and weather overlays.
Challenge everything you know about American motorcycles with best-in-class performance, comfort, and technology all wrapped in distinctive, aggressive styling.
Take Your Indian Challenger to the next level by adding Authentic Accessories from the new Rogue and Tour Collections.
Pack up. Ride out. Get the room you need without sacrificing the style you want. Any Indian Motorcycle bagger is a great choice for wherever the day takes you.
Indian Motorcycle unveils its new Challenger to Harley heavyweight
by David Schuyler from https://www.bizjournals.com
Indian Motorcycle has revealed its newest model for 2020 — the Indian Challenger – and it’s likely to look very familiar to many Harley-Davidson riders.
The Indian Challenger comes in three variants, the Challenger, Challenger Dark Horse and Challenger Limited, with base prices of $21,999, $27,499 and $27,999, respectively.
Indian, the vintage motorcycle brand that Medina, Minnesota-based parent company Polaris Inc. has positioned as an alternative to the heavyweights from Harley-Davidson Inc. (NYSE: HOG), teased the new motorcycle last week when it released details on the new PowerPlus engine that’s at the heart of the Challenger.
With its big liquid-cooled, 108-cubic-inch V-twin power plant, Indian’s newest model is perhaps the brand’s deepest incursion yet into Harley-Davidson’s market. And there’s one big reason to look at it that way,
Even before Tuesday’s official roll-out, more than one motorsports industry writer compared some earlier leaked images of the Challenger to Harley-Davidson’s Road Glide, a big touring bike that represented a sizable portion of the sales mix for Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc. back in 2013, when the iconic motorcycle manufacturer put Road Glide on a hiatus that lasted all of one year.
When teasing the new Challenger model last week, Indian described at as a “fixed-fairing bagger,” a term that aptly describes the Road Glide. With the Challenger, Indian is clearly targeting one of Harley-Davidson’s biggest market spaces. Upon reintroducing an updated Road Glide for the 2015 model year, Harley’s chief financial officer John Olin said in January 2014 that Road Glide accounted for 9 percent of the company’s sales volume. Cutting into that chunk of the industry could hurt.
So can the Challenger slice into that market? Here’s the scoop on the Challenger:
The PowerPlus V-twin pushing 128 ft-lbs of torque is packed onto cast-aluminum frame with inverted front suspension and adjustable rear shock, Brembo brake system and large 18-gallon capacity saddlebags. Additional features include electronic cruise control, full LED lighting, anti-lock brakes and keyless ignition.
The Limited and Dark Horse models include Indian’s Smart Lean technology, which enhances braking, traction control and handling, and the Indian Ride Command infotainment system featuring weather and traffic overlays, key vehicle information, and Bluetooth and USB mobile pairing.
How does it compare with the Road Glide? The 2020 Road Glide is powered by iconic brand’s Milwaukee-Eight 107 or 114 engine with 111 to 122 ft-lbs of torque. Cruise control, ABS, LED lighting and Brembo brakes are also part of the Road Glide package. Price? Road Glide starts at $21,699 and goes up to $28,299 for the Road Glide Limited.
The Indian Challenger’s PowerPlus engines are made at a Wisconsin plant in Osceola, while assembly of the Challenger takes place at the company’s plant in Spirit Lake, Iowa.
Indian Motorcycle Pushes American V-Twins Forward With the All-New 2020 Challenger – the Ultimate American Bagger
by Associated Press from https://www.oaoa.com
The bar for American motorcycles has officially been elevated. Indian Motorcycle, America’s First Motorcycle Company, has dramatically redefined the American bagger with its introduction of the 2020 Indian Challenger – a striking combination of American muscle, next-level technology, and premium comfort to deliver a truly unmatched riding experience.
Indian Motorcycle, America’s First Motorcycle Company, has dramatically redefined the American bagger with its introduction of the 2020 Indian Challenger. From left to right: Indian Challenger Dark Horse, Indian Challenger Limited, Indian Challenger (Photo: Business Wire)
Designed for the most knowledgeable and discerning riders, Indian designers stopped at nothing to ensure that the Challenger out-classed its competition and delivered the highest performing, fully loaded bagger on the market.
“The Indian Challenger delivers a new level of performance for riders who understand that the seemingly small details make a huge difference,” said Reid Wilson, Vice President of Indian Motorcycle. “Our mindset was to leave no stone unturned and deliver a bagger that exceeds the standards in categories like power, handling, comfort, and technology.”
It starts with the all-new Indian PowerPlus engine, Indian’s first liquid-cooled large displacement motor (108 cubic-inch, 60-degree V-twin) that packs a best-in-class 122 horsepower and 128 ft-lbs. of torque. The new powertrain also features a six-speed transmission with true overdrive, assist clutch to reduce clutch effort, and hydraulic valve lash adjusters and camshaft chain tensioners for a low maintenance, reliable powerplant. The PowerPlus’ overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder deliver incredible V-twin performance and power. Riders can customize the bike’s throttle mapping by selecting one of three ride modes, including Rain, Standard and Sport – resulting in one motorcycle with three distinct performance personalities. Each ride mode has been engineered with its own distinct traction control setting to align with each mode’s specific throttle mapping.
Starting at $21,999, the Challenger features all the premium touring amenities riders expect from Indian Motorcycle, including electronic cruise control, full LED lighting, a long-haul seat, ABS, keyless ignition, and weatherproof saddlebags with over 18 gallons of storage space. In addition, a modern and aggressively styled chassis-mounted fairing sits over the Challenger’s inverted front suspension. This, combined with the bike’s lightweight cast aluminum frame and hydraulically adjustable FOX ® rear shock, delivers unrivaled handling and rock-solid stability.
Race-spec radially-mounted Brembo ® brakes provide superior stopping power, and new performance touring Metzeler ® Cruisetec ® tires offer supreme traction. Challenger’s chassis-mounted fairing features an adjustable windscreen with nearly three inches of travel and adjustable air vents – delivering unprecedented rider protection from all elements. With menacing LED running lights, a central headlamp, and a redesigned and modernized Indian Motorcycle headdress adorning its front fender, the Challenger presents an unmistakable profile day and night.
A true state-of-the-art bagger, the Limited and Dark Horse variants of Challenger are equipped with Indian Motorcycle’s intuitive Smart Lean Technology™, keeping riders confidently grounded by utilizing a Bosch IMU to add cornering control to the dynamic traction control and ABS, as well as Drag Torque Control. These models also feature Indian Ride Command, the largest, most-customizable touchscreen infotainment system on two wheels. The Challenger’s seven-inch Ride Command system features weather and traffic overlays, key vehicle information, Bluetooth ® and USB mobile pairing, and an all-new quad-core processor for faster response.
For its inaugural year, the Challenger lineup is accompanied by a variety of Indian Motorcycle Authentic Accessories that allow riders to upgrade their ride based on their preferences. With the Indian Challenger Rogue Collection, riders can improve sound and add blacked-out styling with the black stage 1 slip-on muffler and black PowerPlus stage 1 air intake. While a gloss black mid-rise handlebar, a tinted curved windshield and gloss black front highway bars add a premium blacked-out finish.
For an added measure of comfort over longer hauls there’s the Indian Challenger Tour Collection, including a 16-inch windshield, quick release passenger sissy bar, passenger backrest and passenger floorboards, an extended reach seat, rider backrest pad, infinite highway pegs and pinnacle heel shifter. Riders can also upgrade the Indian Challenger’s audio experience with the PowerBand Audio Plus system, which delivers exceptional sound and clarity from high-output fairing and saddlebag speakers that are 50% louder than the Challenger’s stock audio system.
With its modern, aggressive look, and a seemingly unlimited array of performance, comfort and technological features, the Indian Challenger stands alone as the ultimate bagger.
“While we are grounded in our iconic history, we are focused and driven to break new ground and establish a higher standard for riders; and the Challenger is a testament to that,” said Steve Menneto, President of Indian Motorcycle. “The amount of technology and level of detail packed into this bike is incredible, and it’s something we’re extremely proud of.”
Pricing for the 2020 Indian Challenger, available in Titanium Metallic paint, starts at $21,999, while the Challenger Dark Horse, starting at $27,499, is available in Thunder Black Smoke, Sandstone Smoke, and White Smoke. The Indian Challenger Limited starts at $27,999, and is available in Thunder Black Pearl, Deepwater Metallic, and Ruby Metallic.
The Indian Challenger will be assembled at Indian Motorcycle’s production facility in Spirit Lake, Iowa. Learn more about Indian Motorcycle and the 2020 Indian Challenger by visiting IndianMotorcycle.com and following along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Indian Motorcycles are delivering their all-new liquid-cooled PowerPlus V-twin, which is now the most powerful engine in its class.
We have raised the bar for American motorcycles with our most powerful engine to date, the PowerPlus. The all-new 108 cu in, liquid-cooled V-twin engine delivers a class leading 122 hp and 128 ft-lbs of torque, establishing a new standard for V-twin performance.
Tested, Refined, Proven
We put the PowerPlus through the industry’s most rigorous development and testing program. We piled on almost one million miles of simulated testing, including state-of-the-art dyno testing and over 250,000 miles on the road.
Power you can depend on
The PowerPlus motor’s overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder deliver incredible V-twin power. Hydraulic valve lash adjusters and hydraulic camshaft chain tensioners make it easy to maintain and reliable.
All new powertrain
Six-speed transmission with true overdrive, assist clutch to reduce effort and three ride modes – Rain, Standard and Sport. Now riders can customize throttle mappings and traction control settings to their riding preferences.
A nod to Indian Motorcycle’s iconic history, the new PowerPlus motor is named after one of our original motorcycles, produced from 1916 to 1924.
Engine Displacement: 108 cu in (1769 cc)
Power: 122 hp at 5,500 RPM
Torque: 128 ft-lbs at 3,800 RPM
Maximum Engine Speed: 6,500 RPM
Architecture: 60-degree V-twin, liquid-cooled
Timing: Overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder
Transmission: Six-speed with true overdrive, constant mesh
Clutch: Assist clutch
Our all-new liquid-cooled PowerPlus V-twin is the most powerful engine in its class. With overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder delivering a blistering 122hp and 128 ft-lbs of torque, it redefines American performance.
(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.”