Motorcycle Views Newsletter

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Visit to Orange County Choppers - Road Trip

The regular monthly gathering of Chapter NJ-F (F Troop) of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association (GWRRA) was held at the Empire Diner in Freehold, NJ on July 27, 2008. After the gathering, many members and guests rode to the Orange County Choppers (OCC) headquarters in Newburgh, NY.

We rode in three groups, each with a leader and drag rider. Most members communicated via CBs to keep the groups together and informed.

I had seen the guys from OCC in June, 2004 when I was at the Americade Rally in Lake George, NY. At that time they were becoming well known through their TV show, American Chopper.

The motorcycle community was split as to whether they were amateurs who got lucky or genuine biker craftsmen who knew how to create a masterpiece chopper. I think that most were amazed that they caught on so fast and made a bundle of money doing what backyard mechanics had already been doing for 30 years.

Sometimes when I attend a motorcycle rally, something unexpected happens. At Americade 2004, I found out that the Orange County Chopper (OCC) cast from the Discovery Channel's American Chopper (now on The Learning Channel), was going to be in the area. This was not an official Americade event. It was thought up by the town fathers of Bolton Landing, a town 10 miles north of Lake George. They felt that they needed to do something to attract some of the 60,000 or so Americaders and get them to spend some money in their town. Turns out that a few emails and a phone call did the trick and the whole cast of Orange County Choppers (OCC) showed up for a 4-day run to meet with their fans and sell a few autographed T-shirts.

The Teutuls: Paul Sr, Paul Jr, and Mikey have to choose carefully their visits to rallies to allow them time to build the theme bikes required on their TV show. They skipped Laconia that year and instead did Bolton Landing where they brought 20 of their most popular theme bikes. Here's a picture of Paul Jr signing my OCC T-shirt. My wife, Jane, stood in a long line to get these shirts signed.

The Teutuls were just getting started then. They still had a small shop but millions of fans were watching them on TV every week to see that next theme bike being built and to hear the yelling and screaming as Paul Sr and Paul Jr clashed.

Years passed and they built a bigger and bigger reputation. Now they were in a huge building in Newburgh, NY that contained a showroom of their merchandise and products. Tucked in the back of the building is a small factory where their choppers are built in the glare of TV lights and multiple cameras taping everything going on in the creative process including the antics of the Teutuls and their employees.

Many motorcyclists now visit the facility. It's almost a motorcycle mecca. In fact, our group from New Jersey was only a small part of the riders present that day.

I took a few pictures of the new digs for OCC. The place is quite impressive. I have written descriptions and captions for each picture. Take a look.

If you'd like to know more about choppers, take a look at my Choppers article, my Chopper Gallery, and my Choppers subject. I also wrote a book review, Orange County Choppers: The Tale of the Teutuls - A Motorcycle Book Review.

If you decide to take a trip to Orange County Choppers, you won't be disappointed. Just don't expect to see any of the Teutuls there on Sunday, the day we chose to visit.

First picture ©2008 Jane Ann Kern; second picture ©2004 Walter F. Kern

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Motorcycle Pictures of the Week - Jimi

Here are my Pictures of the Week as displayed on the Motorcycle Views Website. These are taken from the Moto Pic Gallery.

See Jimi with his 2005 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic. Jimi is shown with his daughter. For details, see Motorcycle Pictures of the Week.

If you'd like to see your bike as Picture of the Week, submit a picture of you and your bike along with a description of the bike.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Harley-Davidson Introduces the Tri Glide Ultra Classic for 2009 - a Trike

Yesterday, Harley-Davidson introduced its models for 2009. One of them is a motorcycle trike called the Tri Glide Ultra Classic.

Harley-Davidson hasn't made a trike since the Servi-Car that started out as a vehicle that could be attached to a customer's car so a mechanic could deliver the car and then use the Servi-Car to return to the garage.

Later the Servi-Car had other uses mainly for police use. Here's a YouTube video of a 1954 Servi-Car now owned by an enthusiast. He shows off the trike with the siren blaring.

Servi-Cars were made from 1932-1973. 35 years have elapsed since then without a trike in the product line -- until now.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has an article by Rick Barrett that gives more details about the new Tri Glide trike. Here's an excerpt:

    "There’s a Harley-Davidson coming for those of us seeking more comfort or who have a fear of falling. Harley-Davidson Inc. has introduced a motorcycle for those of us with a taste for comfort or a fear of falling. The Tri Glide Ultra has three wheels and a brand-new chassis design. It retails for $29,000. The maker of Fat Boy and Softail bikes has sized up its customer base and found that many riders would rather be on three-wheelers than two-wheel behemoths that are too tall and too heavy for some people. Starting in the next few weeks, Harley will begin offering three-wheel touring bikes called trikes." -- Rick Barrett

Here's what Harley-Davidson has to say about the Tri Glide in a Press Release on its Website.

It appears that trikes are now more than just kits added to an existing motorcycle. They have attained a new level of acceptance as Harley-Davidson embraces them in its product line and, more importantly, backs them up with Harley-Davidson service.

I've been riding a motorcycle trike for eight years. My wife got hers before I got mine. I wrote an article about her experience in getting her trike.

In the beginning there weren't too many of us out there and we got a lot of attention on the road, in parking lots, and especially at gas pumps. I even wrote an article with standard questions I get and my answers.

I also wrote a How To about learning to ride a trike.

Then I created a Trike Picture Gallery.

Maybe trike riders are becoming mainstream after all. Thanks Harley-Davidson. Let's hope that Harley's 42 year run of Servi-Cars will be surpassed by a 50 year run of Tri Glides.

Picture ©2008 Harley-Davidson

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Motorcycle Pictures by Year, Make, and Model

I have a lot of motorcycle pictures on my site. I've always had a feature that listed motorcycle pictures by year, make, and model. However, many of my motorcycle pictures were in sub-galleries and could not be reached by this method. That has just been revised so all motorcycle pictures can now be reached.

Take a look at the new Motorcycle Pictures by Year, Make, and Model.

If you have a picture of your motorcycle, please send it in along with a description of the motorcycle.

Motorcycle Pictures of the Week - Alain

Here are my Pictures of the Week as displayed on the Motorcycle Views Website. These are taken from the Moto Pic Gallery.

See Alain on his 1985 Harley-Davidson FLT.

If you'd like to see your bike as Picture of the Week, submit a picture of you and your bike along with a description of the bike.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Triumph Recalls 2008 Speed Triple for Handlebar Riser Defect

Triumph is recalling certain 2008 Speed Triple motorcycles.

Due to improper machining of the handlebar riser, the handlebar may slip in the clamps. This slippage could cause a loss of control of the motorcycle increasing the risk of a crash.

93 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Wicked Women Choppers Recalls 2004 Shady Lady Motorcycles for Frame Problem

Wicked Women Choppers is recalling certain 2004 Shady Lady motorcycles equipped with RC Component parts.

The front of the frame where welds attach the back-bone to the neck and welds attach the neck to the down-tube, if not braced with a gusset, stress placed on marginal welds could result in rapid wear on the weld joints and possible joint separation.

Five units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Piaggio Recalls Moto Guzzi Norge 1200 for Electrical Shorting Problem

Piaggio has issued a recall of certain 2007-2008 Moto Guzzi Norge 1200 motorcycle models equipped with Triom headlights, low beam bulb and headlight reflectors.

The headlight low beam bulb has a "pigtail" wire attached to it. This wire connects the low beam bulb to the motorcycle's wiring harness. It may touch the hardware used to secure the bulb in the reflector. Over time and vibration the insulation may wear through causing the direct short to ground.

646 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Piaggio Recalls Aprilia Tuono Models for Fuel Hose Defect

Piaggio has issued a recall of certain 2005-2007 Aprilia Tuono 1000 R and Tuono RSV 1000 R motorcycles equipped with Bitron Spa fuel pump/fuel filters.

The fuel hose connecting the fuel filter to the fuel pump/fuel filter mounting flange may come loose. If this fuel hose connection is loose, or has become completely disconnected, then there will be a drop in, or loss of, fuel pressure to the engine.

977 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Motorcycle Pictures of the Week - Cindy and Michael

Here are my Pictures of the Week as displayed on the Motorcycle Views Website. These are taken from the Moto Pic Gallery.

See Cindy on her 2008 Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200C. Also see her husband, Michael, on his 2002 Harley-Davidson Road King Custom outfitted with a trailer.

If you'd like to see your bike as Picture of the Week, submit a picture of you and your bike along with a description of the bike.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally - August 4-10, 2008

Each year, hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists head toward, what many feel, is the motorcycling mecca of the world, Sturgis, and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota takes place this year August 4-10.

Check out my article on this great motorcycle rally. See if you can see me waving in the picture when I attended the 1993 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Getting about time to go back at least one more time.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

29 Years of Honda Gold Wing: A Picture Gallery

Honda began selling the Super Cub motorcycle internationally in 1958. In 1975, Honda introduced the Gold Wing. It has continued in production ever since.

We present here a look at Honda Gold Wing models from the first model in 1975 to the present as provided in pictures submitted by Motorcycle Views members. A gallery called "29 Years of Honda Gold Wing" is provided that gives a picture and description for each model year from 1975 to 2003.

Take a look at 29 Years of Honda Gold Wing.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

58 Years of Indian: A Motorcycle Picture Gallery

Indian began making motorcycles in 1901 as the Hendee Manufacturing Company. The first production model was in 1902 and 143 units were produced. In 1903, 376 motorcycles were sold. It continued production through 1953 when it no longer made the classic Indian. In 1999, Indian motorcycles were again produced, this time by the Indian Motorcycle Corporation. This was not the same company but it did have rights to the Indian name and trademarks.

We present here a look at Indian models from the first prototype model in 1901 to the present as provided in pictures submitted by Motorcycle Views members. A gallery called "58 Years of Indian" is provided that gives a picture and description for each model year from 1901 to 2003.

There are many years not covered in this gallery. Your help is solicited for the following years. If you own one of these models or used to, please submit a picture and description to help us complete the gallery.

    1901-1927
    1929-1935
    1937-1945
    1948-1953

Take a look at 58 Years of Indian and then send us a picture of your Indian motorcycle.

BMW Recalls 2008 R1200GS, R1200GS Adventure, and R1200R for Transmission Defect

BMW has issued a recall of certain 2008 R1200GS, R1200GS Adventure, and R1200R motorcycles.

Due to a material defect in the intermediate shaft of the transmission, the shaft could break. If this occurred, it is possible for the transmission to seize. If this happened, lock-up of the rear tire could occur. It is also possible for the transmission housing to break.

46 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Monday, July 7, 2008

81 Years of BMW: A Motorcycle Picture Gallery

BMW began selling motorcycles in 1923, long before any BMW automobiles were even thought of.

I have started a BMW motorcycle picture gallery to contain all BMW models from 1923 to 2003 as submitted by Motorcycle Views visitors. A gallery called "81 Years of BMW" is provided that gives a picture and description for each model year.

Now it's true that after World War II, BMW was in a rebuilding period and did not produce any motorcycles for 1945-1947 and only 59 for 1948. So, there will be no pictures for those years unless you happen to have one of the rare 1948 models.

There are admittedly a lot of holes in this gallery. If you happen to have one of these BMWs or used to own one, please send me a picture and description so I can put it in the gallery. Here are the years I'm looking for:

    1923-1928
    1930-1939
    1942-1960
    1963-1965
    1968, 1970
    1972-1979
    1981, 1984
    1987-1990
    1993

Take a look at what we have so far in 81 Years of BMW and help us to grow this gallery of BMW motorcycles.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Wild Motorcycle Tales - Motorcycle Stories to Remember

We've all heard motorcycle stories and wild motorcycle tales.

Every motorcyclist has his or her motorcycle stories or wild tales to tell.

Why not write down your best motorcycle stories taken from your own personal experiences and submit them to Motorcycle Views. I'll pick the funniest, most interesting motorcycle stories and make them available on the site. It's your chance to get your 15-minutes of fame and give others a great motorcycle story.

Are you ready for some Wild Motorcycle Tales? See if you can top these motorcycle stories recently sent in by your fellow motorcyclists.

Here's a sample Wild Motorcycle Tale called Chicken Caper:

    When I was in High School way back in the early '60s, I had a 175 Allstate. Back then motorcycles only had 2 speeds to me -- off or wide open. Of course that was only about 65 mph on the Allstate.

    Riding along a country road one day, I topped a small rise in the road and found a flock of chickens covering the road. Too late to slow down so I plowed right through them. When I looked back, all I could see was a white cloud of chickens and feathers flying in the sky.

    When I got to my friend's house he came out and said, "What's that on your muffler?" I looked down and found I must have caught one unfortunate hen with the foot peg and knocked an egg out of her. I had a perfectly scrambled egg splattered down my exhaust pipe. -- John

Now, read all the Wild Motorcycle Tales and then write up your own story and send it to me.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

100 Years of Harley-Davidson: A Motorcycle Picture Gallery

Harley-Davidson began selling motorcycles in 1903. In 2003, the Motor Company celebrated its 100th anniversary. I have created a picture gallery of Harley-Davidson motorcycle models over those 100 years as provided by visitors to my main Motorcycle Views site.

A picture gallery, 100 Years of Harley-Davidson, is provided that gives a picture and description for each model year from 1903 to 2003.

Many years still do not have a picture. If you own a Harley-Davidson motorcycle from any of the following years, please send me a picture and description to get your bike in this gallery:

    1903-1911
    1913-1929
    1931, 1933
    1935, 1936
    1938-1940
    1943-1945
    1951, 1952
    1957-1963
    1973, 1975

Take a look at 100 Years of Harley-Davidson.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Learn How to Ride a Motorcycle

I receive a lot of questions from people who want to learn how to ride a motorcycle but don't know where to start or what steps they should follow.

There is no magic process to learn how to ride a motorcycle. Every rider follows a different plan to learn how to ride a motorcycle.

I have written a 5-part article that tells you what you have to do to learn how to ride a motorcycle.

Part 1 is an introduction to motorcycles.

Part 2 tells you how to get started learning to ride a motorcycle.

Part 3 discusses getting the training you need to ride a motorcycle.

Part 4 talks about buying your first motorcycle.

Part 5 discusses becoming a motorcyclist.

This article gives you my viewpoint on what it takes to become a proficient motorcyclist. Check out How You CAN Learn to Ride a Motorcycle

The Fourth of July and Motorcycle Haiku

I was watching the Millionaire Game on TV a few days ago and saw a question that I didn't think one in a thousand people would know the answer to.

    "How many syllables are there in a Haiku?"

Well, that immediately got my attention since I knew the answer: 17. The first line contains 5 syllables, the second line contains 7 syllables, and the third line contains 5 syllables.

How'd I know that?

It's because I have a Haiku feature on my site that contains many Haiku poems submitted by motorcyclists just like you.

The feature is called Motorcycle Haiku Poems.

Here are three examples of Haiku poems. The first I just made up one minute ago to fit today's date and the other two are contained in the feature:


    july 4th is here
    motorcycles and the flag
    summer brings freedom


    summer calls to me
    come ride your motorcycle
    live without your cage


    heartbeat thick inside
    riding harley-davidsons
    free as an eagle


Be sure to check out my Motorcycle Haiku Poems and maybe submit a motorcycle Haiku of your own.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

47 Years of Harley-Davidson Sportster: A Picture Gallery


Harley-Davidson began selling motorcycles in 1903. In 1957, Harley-Davidson introduced the Sportster. It has continued in production ever since.

We present here a look at Harley-Davidson Sportster models from the first model in 1957 to the present as provided in pictures submitted by visitors to the site. A gallery called "47 Years of Sportster: A Picture Gallery" is provided that gives a picture and description for each model year from 1957 to 2003.

We need your help. This gallery is not yet complete. If you have a Sportster from the following years and want it included in this gallery, please submit a picture and description of your bike.

1957-1961, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1971, 1975, and 1990

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

21 Years of Honda Shadow: A Picture Gallery


Honda began selling the Shadow motorcycle in 1983. It has continued in production ever since.

We present here a look at Honda Shadow models from the first model in 1983 to the year 2003 as provided in pictures submitted by visitors to the site. A gallery called "21 Years of Shadow: A Picture Gallery" is provided that gives a picture and description for each model for each year from 1983 to 2003.

The gallery still has some models not represented. If you own one of the following models, send me a picture and description of your bike and I'll include it in 21 Years of Honda Shadow: A Picture Gallery.


    1987 Honda Shadow 1100 VT1100C
    1991 Honda Shadow VLX VT600C
    1992 Honda Shadow VLX VT600C
    1993 Honda Shadow VLX VT600C
    1997 Honda Shadow 2-Tone A.C.E. VT1100C2
    1998 Honda Shadow A.C.E. VT1100C2
    1999 Honda Shadow VLX VT600C
    1999 Honda Shadow A.C.E. 750 Deluxe VT750CD
    1999 Honda Shadow A.C.E. 2-Tone 750 Deluxe VT750CD2
    1999 Honda Shadow A.C.E. VT1100D2
    2000 Honda Shadow VLX VT600C
    2000 Honda Shadow VLX Deluxe VT600CD
    2000 Honda Shadow VLX Deluxe 2-Tone VT600CD2
    2000 Honda Shadow A.C.E. 750 VT750C
    2000 Honda Shadow A.C.E. Tourer VT1100T
    2001 Honda Shadow VLX VT600C
    2001 Honda Shadow VLX Deluxe 2-Tone VT600CD2
    2001 Honda Shadow A.C.E. Tourer VT1100T
    2002 Honda Shadow VLX Deluxe 2-Tone VT600CD2
    2002 Honda Shadow A.C.E. Tourer VT1100T
    2003 Honda Shadow VLX VT600C