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The Harley-Davidson Ride Home Is How You Properly Celebrate Freedom

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by Elena Gorgan from https://www.autoevolution.com/

Ask anyone about Harley-Davidson and probably the first word you’ll hear out of their mouth is “freedom.” This is what the Ride Home is all about.

Even for those who don’t ride or have little knowledge of the Harley-Davidson brand (or bikes in general), the image of the Harley-Davidson rider is that of a man’s man (or woman’s woman, in the case of female riders). Throughout the years, the brand has cultivated this image of the rugged outlaw, of the rebel who forsakes the urban environment for the open road and the sense of ultimate freedom.

While the “outlaw” image has been turned into a cliché by the Hollywood machine, the rebel label still holds water. And it’s for and by these rebels that the big Ride Home was born into reality. The most recent edition, the 2018 one, solidified the event as the biggest of the kind in the world – and Harley-Davidson’s status as a leader in the biker community.

All motorcycle groups and gangs have that brotherhood / sisterhood approach, but it is only Harley that can boast such a loyal following as to go on a cross-country pilgrimage every 5 years, just to honor the Harley-Davidson spirit.

The Ride Home is a tradition that started in 1988, when the company celebrated its 85th anniversary. To mark the occasion, management rented out the front half of the Milwaukee SummerFest grounds, and the city of Milwaukee welcomed bikers from all over the world. They had no idea what to expect or how this event would snowball into something this impressive.

As you probably know, Harley-Davidson was founded in 1903 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by the Davidson brothers and their friend William Harley (with some help from another friend, Henry Melk). It is one of the two American motorcycle companies to survive the Great Depression (the other being Indian), and a legendary brand that, though it’s taken several financial hits in recent years, remains a leader in the industry.

That first year, bikers from across the U.S. rode to Milwaukee to celebrate the milestone together, and they have been doing so every 5 years since then. As noted above, the 2018 edition was the biggest ever, with Harley-Davidson really pulling out all the stops to turn it into a memorable experience. Not that it wasn’t memorable before then.

However, for 2018, Harley-Davidson got more involved and organized 4 separate rides (from Seattle, San Diego, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and Portland, Maine), virtually helping bikers from all 4 corners of the country to get to the Mecca of biking. For those still feeling rebellious but on a smaller scale, organized tours by Harley-Davidson authorized dealers were put together, offering anything from overnight accommodation to guide tours and special events. Imagine going on a cruise, but way more awesome because it’s on a Hog.

Also in 2019, the oldest existing Harley-Davidson club held a separate celebration in their hometown of Prague, the Czech Republic, drawing over 60,000 bikes. It paled in comparison to the 500,000 bikers that descended onto Milwaukee and partied over Labor Day weekend.

Every edition, the Ride Home culminates with special Harley-Davidson events (a visit to the official, local Harley-Davidson museum, rides through biking county, meetings with dealers and custom bikes shows), parties, gatherings, cookouts, vendor demos and other outdoor fun activities, which is why it’s also called Harleyfest. Some also refer to it as HarleyMania because of the Harley chaos it brings into town for the duration of a weekend.

However, the Ride Home is really about the ride. Sure, riders love bonding with like-minded individuals and sharing their passion for Hogs with people who can relate to what they’re saying one hundred percent, but the highlight is the thousand-miles ride.

As one rider explains in the video below, you ride in a group but are alone with your thoughts. You move fast but get to take in everything around you through all senses, with nothing in the way. Whatever hardships may (still) come Harley-Davidson’s way and whatever faults it can be found guilty of, this is one thing it has managed to deliver, short-lived as it might be: that near-impossible feel that you can have it all.

25 Amazing Women Who Changed Motorcycle Travel Forever

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Celebrating adventurous bold women on two-wheels

Women travelling on motorcycles were, for a very long time not treated seriously – even today, it happens to be that females are not treated equally to their male companions or other motorcyclists which happen to be males. To celebrate Women’s History Month we would like to introduce you to 25 amazing characters which paved the way for modern, more equal opportunities to discover the world on two wheels as a female.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE ON BIKERNET

Harley-Davidson Finally Adds Android Auto As Standard On 2021 Motorcycles

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by Mircea Panait from https://www.autoevolution.com/

It’s been long in the making, but what did you expect from a motorcycle manufacturer as traditional as Harley-Davidson? Android Auto will finally roll out to Touring motorcycles as a software update for the Boom! Box GTS infotainment system, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

For the 2021 model year, the Trike, CVO, and Touring families with the Boom! Box GTS will feature Android Auto as standard. Google Maps, the Google Assistant, voice commands, and many more apps should make life behind the bars a little more comfortable and pleasant as well.

Owners of the Boom! Box GTS can update the infotainment system with Android Auto by USB. If you were wondering, the system is available as an accessory for 2014-and-later motorcycles from the Trike, CVO, and Touring families with previous the Boom! Box 6.5GT infotainment.

Designed to look similar to a tablet, the GTS features a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Corning Gorilla Glass for scratch resistance. Apple CarPlay is also supported, but iOS devices need to be complemented by a Harley-Davidson Genuine Motor Accessories headset. The GTS projects a number of phone functions onto the screen, including music streams from Spotify.

Currently available in 36 countries, Android Auto’s assistant is limited to Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. The Google Assistant has one purpose, and that is to keep your hands on the bars and eyes on the road while using voice commands to check the weather, make a call, or change the radio station.

Celebrating five years in March 2020, Android Auto rolled out in May 2015 with the Hyundai Sonata. The South Korean manufacturer offered the system free of charge as opposed to the BMW-Apple CarPlay subscription service that was eventually dropped over far-reaching criticism.

On a related note, Harley-Davidson has lost 5.2 percent of sales in the United States in 2019 as opposed to 2018. Despite a boom in the ASEAN region, worldwide sales declined 4.6 percent and Harley-Davidson still hasn’t announced any sort of plan to turn things around for the better.

GNX 4.5” Slip-on for HD Touring models

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NEW –  GNX 4.5” Slip-on for HD Touring models

The M8 engine is a powerhouse, but a low idle combined with a plugged up exhaust conspire to mute the true sounds of freedom this machine was designed to roar. Not to worry, the folks over at S&S have created the GNX slip-ons with one thing in mind and that’s belting out the flag waving, eagle flying song of the American v-twin. Combining a 4.5” shell with a tuned baffle and race inspired tip, the GNX lets the sound and power flow out of the M8. Wait, you only want one eagle and a few flags? Not a problem, they include a removable dB reducer that lets you tune the sound to suit your version of the American dream. Made (and chromed) in America, the warranty friendly GNX is also available in their new Guardian Black finish and relieved for shocks up to 13.5”.

All this freedom and they still managed to come in at $474.95 per pair in black and $589.95 in gleaming chrome.

Check out the GNX Slip on on their site or hit up your local dealer for more info. https://www.sscycle.com/letfreedomfly

 

 

Motorcycle Touring the North Coast 500 in Scotland

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by Ryan Beitler from https://www.travelmag.co.uk/

With so many great options for motorcycle touring in the United Kingdom, there is likely no better choice than the Scottish Highlands. In the Highlands there is some of the most beautiful scenery and unspoiled wilderness in the county. There are a variety of ways to go through stunning Scottish nature. Going through the region on the North Coast 500 with a motorcycle will not only provide the healing solitude many riders yearn for, it offers things to do and see. The NC500 is the ultimate road for biking, and there are multiple ways to do it.

Guided or Solo

Depending on your preference, you can ride the NC500 through the Highlands with or without a guide. If you can handle the section of intense riding, you will be fine on your own. Furthermore it can provide a sense of serenity and peace when you are riding through the rolling hills of the Highlands. But if you are looking for companionship or someone to help you know where you are and where you are headed, getting a guide can be fulfilling. It all has to do with what you are looking for. Do you want a sense of adventure or to get where you’re going as safely and peacefully as possible? You have the option.

Scenery in the Highlands

It goes without saying that the scenery in the Scottish Highlands is gorgeous. Riding through the nature of this region is captivating and spiritual. It is arguably the main reasons to take a tour on the North Coast 500. Along this route you go through the Trossachs National Park, go into a Cairgnorms National Park, and pass by Lake Lomomd. Furthermore, there is the town of Loch Ness, home of the Loch Ness monster also called Nessie. You will travel through the Caledonian Canal to Fort William, which is the adventure capital of the United Kingdom. You will also have the chance to visit some of the tranquil and beautiful islands around here, the Inner and Outer Hebrides, and the Isle of Skye.

Stuff to Do

In addition to some spectacular vistas, there are some great things to do and see on your route. There is the Smoo cave, which is a dramatic sea cave that boasts on the largest entrances to any sea cave in the UK. You can also visit the Eilean Donan Castle. Near Cairgnorms there are the Balmoral Castle and famous whiskey distilleries. If you are interested in prehistoric history, the Camster Ciarns are a burial site on the coast that was originally built five thousand years ago.

Things you Should Know

While a lot of visitors will come to ride through the Highlands in the summer, it can get pretty busy during these peak months. The shoulder seasons are better for both the road and the weather. The North Coast 500 is really great in either direction but it is arguably a more pleasant ride to go counter-clockwise. Riding this way takes you along the coast for the duration, it also puts some of the tough riding in the beginning so you can enjoy leisurely during the last days of your trip. The stretch over the Pass of the Cattle that goes into Applecross is one of the most challenging sections of the NC50, which is known for adverse conditions.

If you are willing to rough it a bit here and there, you can save some money on your trip through the Highlands. According to MoneyPug, a site that is used in the UK to find cheap holidays, there are hostels in the region and a free campsite by the YHA in Torridon. There are fuel pumps open for 24 hours along the route. While some people do the NC500 in just three days, it can be better to take more time and enjoy the scenery and the sites.

It doesn’t matter what you’re looking for in a ride, you can find it in the Scottish Highlands along the North Coast 500. It is not surprising that this route is known as one of the best for bikers around the world. It is rugged, full of things to do, people to meet, and, above all else, it is gorgeous.

We’re giving away motorcycle show tickets

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by Al Beeber from https://lethbridgeherald.com/

For enthusiasts across southern Alberta, the Calgary Motorcycle Show in January is a yearly pilgrimage to see the latest two-wheeled, three-wheeled and four-wheeled machines manufacturers are rolling into showrooms.

For my crew, hitting the show has been a ritual for a good decade or so — I’ve lost count of the morning breakfast stops at Roy’s Place in Claresholm where we fill our own tanks in preparation for a long day of sitting on and walking among the numerous bikes, scooters and all-terrain vehicles on display.
As usual, the 2020 show will be staged at the BMO Centre on the Calgary Stampede grounds and for the second year, The Lethbridge Herald has a reader giveaway.

Thanks to show publicist Jackie Jackson and western regional show manager Laurie Paetz, I have five pairs of tickets to give away to motorcycle fans.

Last year, the tickets offered by the show organizers were snapped up quickly so this year I’m going to be holding a draw. If you’re interested in a pair, send an email with your name, email address obviously and daytime phone number. After I repeat the contest details in next week’s column, I will put all the names into a bucket and five winners will be drawn with the names to be announced on Wednesday, Dec. 11 which is essentially a month before the show opens. My email address here at The Herald is abeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

The Calgary Motorcycle Show runs for three days starting Friday, Jan. 10.
On the 10th, doors are open from noon until 9 p.m. On Saturday the 11th, the show runs from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. and on the final day, Jan. 12, it runs from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

It’s important to note the tickets are for admission to the show only — winners will have to pay for Stampede grounds parking like the rest of us.

As of this writing, an exhibitors’ list hasn’t yet been created but as fans know, this show always has something new and different to offer. Whether your interest is scooters for urban commuting or heavy touring bikes, the show will surely have something on the floor that is begging you to spend your money.
Along with displays from area dealers, manufacturers will have their own floor space promoting everything from Ducatis to Vespas.

It was the Vespa booth that caught the attention of our group last year, thanks to a 300cc model that seemed like it could be a bonafide highway machine. I’ve long been a fan of “scoots” and bigger displacements can be a bonafide alternative to a mid-sized motorcycle. My personal favourites are built by Italian company Piaggio (which is also part of the Vespa empire) — they’re stylish, roomy and have highway potential. The venerable Suzuki Burgman is probably the big-scooter standard bearer but last year I don’t recall seeing the 600cc model. The 400 Burgman is sized nicely but as the old saying goes, there’s no replacement for displacement.

And that’s why I’m a big fan of the Harley-Davidson touring bikes. With modern electronics including touchscreens, Harley is creating an experience touring riders would never have imagined decades ago. Are they heavy? They certainly can be but H-D engineers somehow have created a chassis balance that makes a rider quickly forget about weight. That was made clear last year when I was admiring the Street Glide, probably the most popular Harley touring rig. A sales rep urged me to try the legendary shark-fairinged Road Glide which I thought would be too heavy for me. But I was totally wrong. The bike lifted easily off the side stand and felt like something hundreds of pounds lighter. So if I win the lottery between now and Jan. 10, you’ll know what I’ll be riding next spring.

The show is so much more than motorcycles, though.

There are always a wide range of businesses selling apparel and accessories, there are various shows that will appeal to the young and young at heart, and fans of vintage motorcycles can always expect to see an impressive collection of older bikes.

The annual bike giveaway this year is a Kawasaki Z400 ABS, an urban streetfighter that not only is loaded with style but also seems to have comfortable ergonomics.

As regular visitors know, the motorcycle industry has changed rapidly in recent years. Cruisers, which once dominated the market, are becoming a minority which is sad because companies like Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha used to produce some really beautiful ones.

Now adventure bikes — with wire rims and high ground clearance — have become the rage and every manufacturer seems to have them. Kawasaki, a couple of years ago, brilliantly introduced a 300cc version of its Versys, which previously was only available in 600 and 1000cc iterations. Light and fairly low, the 300 Versys is a bike that will appeal to beginners while also being fun for more experienced riders.

To me, it may be the ideal city commuter bike since Kawasaki also offers accessory locking hard cases.
As you can tell, I’m already getting excited about the show because there is nothing like the wind-in-your-face feeling of being on a motorcycle to stir one’s soul.

And even if the weather is more conducive to hibernating, the thought of spring and two-wheeled adventures can warm up anyone.

So get those entries in — I look forward on Dec. 11 contacting those five lucky winners.
Thanks again, Jackie and Laurie, for thinking about Herald readers. Until next time, keep your fingers in the air and your feet on the pegs — oh wait, maybe that’s just me. How does that actually go?

Yamaha Announces Price and Color Information for 2021 Ténéré 700

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Arrival at Dealerships Expected in Early Summer of 2020

MARIETTA, Ga. – November 22, 2019 – Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA, today announced two more model colors for the 2021 Ténéré 700 Adventure Touring motorcycle along with suggested retail pricing and an update for expected delivery timing. In addition to the previously announced Ceramic Ice color, Matte Black and Intensity White color schemes will be available, with all three models carrying an MSRP of $9,999.

A complete lineup of Yamaha Genuine Accessories for the 2021 Ténéré 700 is currently in development, and Yamaha dealers will begin receiving both motorcycle and accessory inventory in the early summer of 2020. Anyone interested in purchasing the lightweight, go-anywhere Ténéré 700 can register to receive more information and updates from Yamaha by visiting https://www.yamahamotorsports.com/tenere-700-ims.

The Next Horizon is yours
With a spirit of adventure embedded in their DNA, Yamaha Adventure bikes are rugged, tough, and reliable. Each Ténéré model in the Adventure Touring segment opens up the possibilities of endless travel and enables riders to discover a feeling of utter freedom where the only limits exist within a rider’s imagination.

To find out more about the 2021 Ténéré 700, visit https://www.yamahamotorsports.com/adventure-touring/models/tenere-700.

Harley-Davidson’s® First Adventure Touring and Streetfighter Models Debut with All-New Revolution® Max Engines

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Models Beckon a New Era of Middleweight Capability, Performance, and Attitude from Harley-Davidson

Displayed for the first time publicly at EICMA in Milan, Harley-Davidson® is showcasing two all-new middleweight motorcycles, including the release of information surrounding the latest signature Harley-Davidson® V-Twin engine – the Revolution® Max. The powerful all-new 60-degree V-Twin has been designed for a new range of Harley-Davidson motorcycles in two different guises – 1250cc in the new Harley-Davidson Pan America™ and 975cc in the Harley-Davidson® Bronx™. Harley-Davidson® first announced expansion into new segments including new middleweight offerings in its More Roads to Harley-Davidson® accelerated plan for growth in July 2018.  These exhilarating new models will both launch in late 2020 extending the iconic brand into new market segment.

Pan America™

The Harley-Davidson Pan America™ is an all-new advanced adventure touring multi-purpose motorcycle equal parts campfire, wanderlust, and grit. The Pan America™ is a two-wheel multi-tool built to endure, designed to explore, and engineered for the unknown.

Bronx™

The new Harley-Davidson® Revolution® Max powertrain is also at the heart of an all new Bronx™. This middleweight streetfighter model rolls with an unapologetic attitude and performance to match.

Powering both the new Pan America™ and Bronx models is the new liquid-cooled 975cc and 1,250cc Revolution® Max engine. Created to power a range of new Harley-Davidson® models, the Revolution® Max is designed to offer flexible performance with a broad powerband that builds to a surge of high-RPM power. Minimizing weight and maximizing performance, the Revolution® Max provides a narrow powertrain profile that is integrated into the motorcycle as a stressed member of the frame to enhance center of gravity and handling. The fully balanced powertrain has an internal counter balancer that mitigates primary engine vibration to enhance rider comfort and improve vehicle durability. Its design is bold and contoured, classic and contemporary, strong and svelte – a representation of Harley-Davidson® performance and style.

Revolution® Max 1250 Engine Performance Targets

  • Displacement 1250cc
  • More than 145 horsepower
  • More than 90 ft. lbs. peak torque

Revolution® Max 975 Engine Performance Targets

  • Displacement 975cc
  • More than 115 horsepower
  • More than 70 ft. lbs. peak torque

Revolution® Max Engine Technical Features

  • Liquid-Cooled V-Twin Architecture
  • Since 1909 the V-Twin engine has been the centerpiece for legendary Harley-Davidson® motorcycles. This lineage continues into the middleweight performance space with the Revolution® Max engine.
  • A 60-degree vee angle of the cylinders provides space for dual down draft throttle bodies that maximize air flow and increase performance.
  • Liquid cooling maintains a controlled engine temperature for consistent performance in changing environmental and riding situations.

High Performance Development Collaboration– Braking and Tire

To optimize performance of the new Pan America™ and Bronx™ models, Harley-Davidson® tapped into the expertise of world class component manufacturers to deliver bespoke solutions for braking and tire performance. For braking, Harley-Davidson® collaborated with Brembo® to create a new radial monoblock four-piston caliper that combines sharp edges with softer curves designed to create a style that complements the personality of the bike and delivers outstanding braking feel and capability. For tires, Michelin® and Harley-Davidson® have worked closely to develop co-branded tires for each motorcycle model that optimize performance, feel and grip in all conditions.

Harley Davidson recalls more than 12k bikes over potential safety issue

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Columbia, SC (WOLO) —Harley-Davidson recalled more than 12 thousand motorcycles over a potential safety issue the company says could impact the visibility of affected bikes.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the potential issue involves the reflector placement on some motorcycles.

NHTSA says both the Touring and CVO Touring motorcycles made between years 2016 through 2019 are affected by this recall. Officials say these bikes were equipped with a Harley-Davidson Detachable Tour-Pak Conversion Kit, but however, only some of the bikes in question that were fitted with this kit are affected by the current recall.

If you own one of these bikes and have additional questions, contact Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Inc. for immediate assistance at 1-800-258-2464.