By Guido Ebert
Native Americans utilized Scouts for reconnaissance and as lookouts, messengers and guides. They were a fast-moving bunch that proved expert in traversing vast distances atop what were deemed the quickest, most nimble of horses.
Flash forward past the industrial revolution to 1920 and the introduction of the Indian Scout motorcycle, a two-wheeler that was to possess the positive attributes of the four-legged transport used by its Native American namesake.
By Thomas Day
On the last October weekend of the 2014 MMSC training season, I taught a “Seasoned Rider” class (aka Experienced Rider Course, ERC, BRC II, etc.) for a few Polaris company employees. Because the course had some experimental qualities (“There will be a test.”), it was prepaid to the college regardless of the number of students.
Due to the lateness in the season and the “test,” the Polaris employees were allowed to ride the course on the state’s 250-and-under motorcycles, instead of bringing their own rides.
By design and purpose, the BRC II is intended, I think, to be ridden on the students’ bikes. At least, that’s the way we’ve always done the course as long as I’ve known about it. And, of course, there has not been an evaluation at the end to determine what has been learned in the course during the time I’ve been an instructor. That has not always been the case, though.
by: Bruce Mike
Thank you for picking up Issue #163, our first issue of 2015. As always we appreciate the support of our readers and please let us know how we’re doing. Good or bad, we like to hear from you. Email us, comment on our website, post on facebook, tweet or drop us a letter in the mail. We accept it all.
It ’s February 22nd and the temperature outside is -9º with a -23º windchill. That ’s fahrenheit if you’re curious. The average temperature for this time of year is around 30º. Needless to say “this just ain’t right ”. What I did today to get a little reprieve from this arctic hell was visit the Nordeast Swap Meet at the NE Minneapolis National Guard Armory.
Suchanek Sets Another Ice Wheelie Record
Wisconsinite Ryan Suchanek on Jan. 31 set a new Guinness Book of World Record’s “Fastest Motorcycle Wheelie On Ice” with a speed of 117.5 mph atop his 2013 EVS Sports Kawasaki ZX-10R. Suchanek, who owns the World Famous Bargain Barn motorcycle shop in Edgerton, reclaimed the title after Swede Robert Gull last year set a 114.5 mph run on a Honda CBR 1000RR.
The event becomes even more impressive when you learn Suchanek rides with a prosthetic as the result of a motorcycle/car crash that took his left leg below the knee.
U.S. Cycle Sales Up 3.8% in 2014
Well, the numbers are in … Major motorcycle & scooter suppliers sold 483,526 new units in the U.S. in 2014, up 3.8% compared to 465,783 units sold in 2013, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council, an industry organization serving manufacturers, distributors and retailers.
On-Highway model sales totaled 334,488 units, up 3%; Off-Highway model sales were 81,013 units, up 10.9%; Dual model sales were 34,497 units, up 3.6%; and Scooter sales represented 33,528 units, down -3.5%.
Off-Highway sales benefited from radical growth in low-priced and high-end model sales, as well as from incremental growth in all displacements.
Further, 2014 was the first year in more than a decade that Dual model sales surpassed Scooter sales. Scooter sales likely were affected by a long-lasting winter in many parts of the country as well as by falling fuel prices. Dual model sales appear to be gaining in popularity due to their do-all capabilities and the availability of relatively low-priced models.
Inducted into the American Motorcyclist Association Hall of Fame in 1996, Minnesota native Al “Old #91″ Burke was a leading Midwestern flat-track racer of the 1950s and early 1960s. Burke rode as a Harley-Davidson factory-supported rider from 1954 to 1963, specializing in short-track racing. He was an eight-time Minnesota state champion and won numerous regional racing titles.
After retiring from professional racing, Burke stayed involved in the sport by announcing races and later came back from a spinal injury to compete in vintage racing.
Burke was born in 1933 and raised in Richfield, Minnesota. His home was close to Carlson Brothers BSA & Norton Sales and as a kid he hung out at the shop. During World War II, the dealership was not very busy. The owners let young Burke learn to work on the bikes from an early age. Co-owner Eske Carlson told Burke, “If you’re going to hang around every day, you may as well learn something.” He started by having the 9-year-old youngster take wheels apart and re-spoke them. He then gradually taught him to work on engines.
Burke’s first actual ride on a motorcycle is one he will never forget.
“When I was 9 years old, on a day when we had a freezing rain, he told me to take a Harley 45, with an outrigger sidecar and go to the store and get some pop,” Burke recalls. “I think I killed the engine three times on glare ice. I finally gave it more throttle, dumped the clutch and took off in a full broadslide out of the driveway. I’ve always said that I started out in a full slide and never quit.”
This ride takes you on a journey through the picturesque bluff country of southeastern Minnesota & western Wisconsin – passing horse farms and hay fields, traveling through river bottom and railroad settlements, traversing creek gullies and wooded ravines, and rolling along the shoreline of the Mississippi River and the grand Lake Pepin.
Many scooter buyers in the U.S. seem to like retro designs – that basic shape of a classic Vespa or Lambretta – while the rest of the world has moved on to more “modern” scooters featuring aerodynamic shapes and improved materials.
Kymco’s Like 200i (MSRP: $2,699) achieves both objectives, offering a classic-looking design wrapped around a thoroughly modern machine.
How to Get Your Motorcycle License in MN
In Wisconsin, a third of all motorcyclists involved in fatalities in 2014 did not have an endorsement on their license for legal motorcycle operation, according to WisDOT.
Surprise: You must be properly licensed to legally operate a motorcycle on public roads. In Minnesota, penalties for riding without a valid motorcycle license endorsement or instruction permit include having the motorcycle towed and impounded, up to $1,000 in fines, or maybe even some time in lock-up.