By Guido Ebert
When Yamaha … or, Star … introduced the Bolt model for the 2014 model year, the manufacturer promoted the bike by having various independent builders utilize the 942cc cruiser to create their own interpretations. Those Bolt-based bikes then went on a national tour in an attempt to show potential customers that the relatively low-priced model could be highly personalized.
The strategy appears to have worked, as sales of the Bolt last year proved a bright spot in what has become a bit of a sluggish Metric Cruiser market.
Scooters For Everyone
The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) says sales of new scooters in the U.S. last year represented 33,528 units, down 3.5% compared to 34,742 units retailed in 2013 likely due to a long-lasting winter and falling fuel prices.
Those statistics, however, only include sales figures from brands that are members of the MIC (Aprilia, BMW, Honda, KYMCO, Piaggio, Suzuki, Vespa and Yamaha). Missing from the tally are model sales from Genuine Scooter Company, SYM, and a host of other brands – all of which likely experienced sales trends that mirrored those of the MIC member companies.
By Thomas Day
For a bit of self-entertainment, I created a spreadsheet to collect data about how many miles a typical motorcyclist rides in a year. A few other riders and I grabbed sale ads from Craigslist all over the country and the spreadsheet takes that data and turns it into a look at who rides what how far in the good old US of A. The numbers are enlightening and a little depressing. The gross overwhelming majority of motorcycles get ridden less than 2500 miles a year. My observations and suspicions were confirmed, Americans are not really motorcyclists (Except, possibly, in Mexico; which is, after all Central America).
2015, Published by Chris Scott
By Victor Wanchena
It was an era before email, GPS, or reliable motorcycles, and ironically it wasn’t that long ago. It was the early eighties and Chris Scott was a Londoner diving into the world of motorcycle couriers. This book chronicles his adventures, his series of bikes, and the fascinating squatter culture of 80’s London.
The motorcycle couriers of this era served an interesting role. Back then there was the need to transport documents, film, photos, and you-name-it across town quickly. London, like many large cities, was a tangled mess of roads and traffic. But, the motorcycle courier had the advantage of being able to slip through this mess to get whatever you needed from A to B quickly.
By Paul Berglund
I like things. I have to balance “wanting things” with “having money”. My lovely wife set up an alert on our credit card. When ever it gets used, she gets a text. When she get’s a text, I get a phone call. “Did you just spend $807 dollars on Moto Guzzi Parts?” You can’t show the grizzly fear, so I look her right in the eye (over the phone) and tell her “Yes I did”. I tend to pay less attention to the verbal pummeling that comes after that. I pet the cat or think about how cute she was when I met her and eventually she calms down. My wife I mean, we have boy cats. If she’s still upset at the end of the tirade, I try to end on a positive note. I tell her that since I spent more than $400 I get free shipping. She likes free shipping.
At the beginning of March of this year, I went to Moab Utah for a week of off-road riding. I had never spent a week of vacation this way and I was really looking forward to it. There were eight of us and seven bikes. My friends wife was planning to rent her vehicles when she got there. We set out early on a Saturday morning and immediately slipped into Smokey and The Bandit mode. We had two trucks with trailers and a pilot car leading the way. Travelling with this large of a group always makes me nervous especially having never travelled with some of them. As it turned out, my worries were unwarranted. They are all really good, like-minded people, and travelling with them was a ton of fun.
This ride within the Mississippi River’s Bluff Country is marked by the river and its many tributaries and associated wetlands, scenic valleys of temperate deciduous forest, pronounced limestone and dolomite peaks, bluff-top dairy farms and horse ranches, and riverside communities.
By Jesse Walters
That precious spring day arrives, the calendar is free, sun is shining, and birds are chirping. You head out to the garage to fire up your vintage motorcycle for a cruise to your local bike night, but realize your plates have expired and the tires are flat. The tires are an easy fix, but the expired plates are cause to scratch that day’s ride. You wonder back inside the house and do dishes.
Don’t let this happen again.