*Sweet Little Angels
by Tony Marx
Two New Twins from Milwaukee
Harley Davidson and Buell have uncorked a couple of new models that have got the motorcycle world buzzing harder than Peter Fonda on his way to the Kwik Trip. Harley deserves a huge pat on the back for parting with its staid tradition of pushrods and air-cooling. The new 1130cc Revolution (read “Revo”) motor uses fuel injection, chain driven cams, four valve heads and liquid cooling to work it’s way up to 115 horsepower at the crank. Praise them again for going out on a limb (for Harley anyway) with a cool new look that, at a glance, reminds me of the BMW R1200C and incorporates some genuinely cool looking parts. Harley claims the $17,000 V-ROD weighs 595 lbs and should top out in the upper 130mph range. Buell’s new toy is the XB9R Firebolt. The slightly new motor is an air cooled, short stroke, 984cc 45 degree v-twin that’s been put on a diet to rev quickly and put out 92 horsepower, though I’m guessing that figure is at the crank. The frame is for sure out in right field, carrying the bike’s fuel within its aluminum confines and the oil being carried inside the swingarm. With all that liquid mass lying in unconventional places it should be interesting to see how the bike is balanced out, though some thought has obviously gone into the weight issue since the whole package weighs less than 385 lbs dry. The bike is supposed to carry a MSRP of less than $10,000.
Sweet Little Angels
The Hell’s Angels rolled into Branson, Missouri for their annual gathering in late July, prompting authorities to bolster their presence by bringing in 80 state troopers to assist local law enforcement. There was one officer on the street for every 10 bikers at any given time. Don Gannon, president of the Angel’s Chicago chapter said, “They’re our paparazzi. If you want to be safe, just stick with us because there’s always a cop close by.” Few tickets or arrests were made and locals were happy to have the extra business that a bunch of bad bikers bring. “They’ve been no trouble at all. In fact, they’ve been extra nice.” said one local and an elderly tourist from Texas made this comment “They’re just a bunch of men who are now over 50 and are yuppies wishing they were still hippies.”
It seems that prominent local bikers are being refused drive through service at local fast food chains simply because they’re on motorcycles. In recent “incidents” at Taco Bell and Culver’s restaurants, bikers were told that “walk throughs aren’t allowed” and they were “welcome to come in and order at the counter.” Being a local biker I decided to call around and find out what the official policies were concerning motorcycles and drive through service. Managers and restaurant owners from McDonalds, Arby’s, Hardees, Burger King and the two previously mentioned establishments all said that they did forbid walk through customers in the drive through for safety reasons but agreed that motorcyclists would not be considered walk throughs as long as the bike was able trip the vehicle sensor. So if the dude with the headset at the window refuses to give you the Chalupa you and your ST1100 are craving, just ask to speak to his manager.
Peter Fonda was set to come to the twin cities for the Maplewood Theater’s showing of the classic Easy Rider. Besides the screening he was also set to put in an appearance at the Easyrider shop in Minneapolis and to give MMM a one on one interview. Unfortunately just days before the July 27th event Peter was put in the pokey after being arrested for his 3rd DUI while driving his pickup truck in Bozeman Montana and could not make bail. Still, the event went on and fun was had, with all proceeds going to the POW home. Organizer Jenny Crouch would like to thank everyone who attended and especially the Plaza Maplewood Theater for hosting the event.
The table you see here was created by local artist Holly Vrieze and is on display through August at Moxie on 26th and Lyndale in Uptown. It is the first motorcycle based piece Holly has done but she says, “there’s more to come.” As with most things it’s for sale at the right price. For $3500 you can take it home, kick back and plant your feet up on it or plant it in the reception area of your high powered corporate headquarters. If you’re interested call Holly at 612-578-5461.