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10/27/2015     Watch the Fall

Autumn is considered by many as their favorite season to ride. The morning crisp air to start off a day that leads into comfortable riding conditions (for both rider & motorcycle) with the nature beauty of the colors and landscapes makes for some enjoyable journeys; yet it can also be a time of year with increased risks.

With the range of temperatures we experience during the fall, there is always an increased probability of morning dew, condensation and even frost. The possible morning moisture (especially in a frozen condition) can have a unwanted effect pertaining to loss of traction; whether for moving, stopping, turning, etc. If you head out in the early to even the late AM (depending on temps) you need to keep this in mind and adjust accordingly. With that you also need to include in your thoughts to consider road conditions which may be related to environmental/weather (if it hasn't rain in some time there could be an additional build up of slick debris from other vehicles), condition of your tires and always need to keep in mind your level of skill to adjust to things. Now add to the fact that the beauty of the colors only lasts for a short period before the leaves start dropping. Natures water absorbers and O2 generators (aka leaves) can also be major culprit when it comes to traction loss - especially when damp/wet (from that morning dew or previous rain). Again, something to ponder when rolling, stopping or leaning into those twisties; always keep a watchful eye ahead to fine tune for the conditions.

Following up with those range of temperatures, make sure you gear up accordingly. You may leave later in the morning when the temps are rising and dress for that, but once the sun goes down and you're still on the road you may wish you had something warmer to wear. Dress with layering as part of your plan to work with the temps and keep in your thoughts that if your body temp drops, hyperthermia can become a risk - which has several effects that aren't helpful for riding.

Also along the line of nature; if where you're riding is more rural with wildlife, remember that many of the creatures that live normally unseen from us have more of a tendency to show up unannounced when we may not enjoy seeing them. Various animals are starting their mating season (in heat, rutting, whatever you decide to call it) and because of this do unexpected and/or stupid things - if you look at that way, they're not a lot different than a lot of humans ;)

Finally, besides watching out for natural, weather, road conditions as well as our bike and ourselves - remember to always watch the "other guy". Fall peepers and lookers may be paying more attention to natures surroundings of color and beauty than what they're doing on the roadways. Watch for lane drifts from them as well as sudden stops because they just noticed a cute farm stand or end of year yard sale.

Yes there are risks to be aware of, no matter what time of year we ride; but keeping all those "what if's" in mind can certainly help prevent an enjoyable day of riding from becoming a bad memory. So go out an experience what many others enjoy before we need to bundle up and look like the Michelin Man to take a ride.

Keep it safe out there

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Law Tigers launches free Mobile App with useful features for motorcyclists

2014 Indian Larry Grease Monkey Block Party

By Jonny Krome
Monday, September 22, 2014

New York City block parties are a summer staple in the Big Apple. Every weekend from May through October streets are blocked off in neighborhoods all over the city. Vendors and food carts line the curbs and hawk their wares to people strolling down the avenues, music and laughter bounce off buildings, and the scent of grilling meat and roasting peanuts wafts through the thick, humid air. Many street fairs are charity fundraisers; some celebrate holidays; others tout ethnic or religious groups and cultural events. But despite their distinctions they all share the most common block party traits: good food, good music, and great times.  read more here

Rick Fairless - Motorcycle Industry Icon
Maverick - Mar 11, 2012

Rick Fairless, motorcycle enthusiast, business owner, and custom motorcycle builder, is living his dream. Its all about motorcycles and the people that ride them! I have had the privilege of knowing Rick for several years now and he is always like this: approachable, open to talking about motorcycles, promoting the industry, humble about his own role in the motorcycle industry, and ready to assist others in achieving success.


Sturgis Rider Sweepstakes celebrates motorcycling at The Chip
Legendary Buffalo Chip Media Release - Mar 9, 2012

The Sturgis Buffalo Chip is now giving one lucky Chip visitor a chance to take home a newly customized Victory Cross Roads motorcycle and matching Epiphone Les Paul Studio guitar with the Sturgis Rider Sweepstakes. The winner of the Sturgis Rider Sweepstakes will be announced live on the main stage of the Buffalo Chip Friday, Aug. 10 during the 2012 Sturgis motorcycle rally concerts.


Ironic Death of Anti-helmet Protestor
by Jason Giacchino

It is said that while humor brings insight and tolerance, irony brings a deeper and less friendly understanding. Tragically, such is applicable in the bizarre case of Philip Contos, a 55-year-old Harley-Davidson rider, who while participating in an American Bikers Aimed for Education (ABATE) ride with close to 600 other participants, was himself fatally injured due to head trauma while protesting against being forced by law to wear a helmet. (read more)

Bill Banning Loud Pipes May Be Coming Down the Pipe

by Jason Giacchino

When it comes to motorcycle modifications, we are often as guilty as the next of recommending the exhaust system as a good starting point. After all, because of the simple fact that aftermarket units are immune to the rigorous federal noise standard approval, they often flow exhaust more efficiently (hence increasing engine performance), and save weight. However, they can be much louder than stock, which is a noise some legislators have apparently heard enough of.
(read more)

Joe Ferla

Joe Ferla is an accomplished musician, a Grammy award winner, and a biker. He and his wife, Christine, live in Stamford, New York. When Joe was 9 years old, he caught Elvis Presley on the Ed Sullivan show and, like many other young boys his age, he thought, “that’s who I want to be.” Joe took that thought a few steps further by taking guitar lessons and playing in neighborhood bands for a few years. His band’s manager arranged for Joe and his band, “3 1/2", to join Herman’s Hermits and The Animals on a 7-week tour. Thus began Joe’s journey, at the ripe old age of 17, into the world of professional music. Joe was lucky enough to witness a music producer/engineer at work, was intrigued by what he saw and decided to pursue a similar career. After knocking on the door of just about every recording studio in Manhattan at the age of 22, Joe landed a job as Assistant Engineer at Media Sound Studio, listening, observing, and learning as much as he could about the business, until he felt it was time to move on. His next job at Regent Sound provided him the opportunity to work with more studio engineers and to make some valuable connections in the music industry.

Although Joe’s interest these days is primarily in jazz music, Joe began his career working with R&B and rock and roll artists. In 1972 he worked with Aretha Franklin and Roberta Flack. Ms. Flack was so pleased with what eventually became known as the “Ferla sound,” that she asked Joe to be her co-producer on subsequent recordings, particularly a popular duet with Donny Hathaway, called “The Closer I Get to You.” Joe was 28 years old and had already produced a #1 record! In the ensuing years he has built up a clientele that includes Keith Richards, Foreigner, Four Tops, David Sanborn, and John Mayer, with whom he shares the 2006 Grammy award for the album, Continuum. Joe also got a Grammy for Michael Brecker’s 2007 album, Pilgrimage. Joe’s discography is quite impressive and can be found at  (search Joe Ferla). Joe attributes his success to a simple belief – that he finally fully developed the sound that echoed in his head since childhood.

One fine day about 7 years ago, Joe and his wife spotted a custom motorcycle in a parking lot, and he told Chris he had to have one. Joe did the smart thing and took the MSF rider course, then bought a Honda VLX and rode it for a year. Then came another Honda and finally his 2005 Harley Softail Deluxe, which he has customized to resemble a 1950’s black & white nostalgic bike. Ironically, Joe has come full-circle with the design of his bike, by featuring the same 1950’s royal lite bubble bags that Elvis had on his bike! Joe loves the sense of freedom he experiences when riding as he loses every negative thought that might be in his head at the time. He describes it as an almost Zen-like spirit. Joe says riding has had a huge impact on him and the fellow bikers he has met have been some of the most honorable people he has encountered in his life.

Article by Lisa Petrocelli read more of Lisa here -->  ALBANY BIKER CULTURE EXAMINER

Anti-Theft Travel Gear at 45% Off
PacSafe's Tanksafe Tank bags, helmet bags and duffels on our passenger seat are great ways to stow gear on a road trip right up until the third stop — you know, that medium-length one.

Meal stops are long enough to pull your bags that aren't bolted down or lockable. Gas stops are quick, so who cares. But coffee breaks, bathroom breaks or any stop in a big city leaves us double thinking our loose gear.

Not anymore. A company called PacSafe has tank, helmet and
duffle bags with an "exomesh" layer of steel cable that is lockable to your bike to keep the curious from walking away with it.

Their tank bag is waterproof, spacious and has all the features of a conventional tank bag, plus it locks shut, it mounts solidly to your bike and its steel mesh layer keeps people from cutting it open. Oh yeah, and it's now 45% off.

See PacSafe's Tanksafe.


February 16, 2010
Loud Horns Save Lives
Metric Horns
Having loud pipes can be fun for the rider but become a constant droning sound in traffic, followed by intermittent ear splitting revs after the bike has stopped.

If you really want some attention, man up with a sneak attack. Kuryakyn has some chrome horns that push more air than a Who concert and still look great on your bike.

Shove trucks out of your lane with startling air power, fend off encroaching minivans with 115db
shockwaves or tap your horn and out-blast your buddies' straight pipes to let them know it's time for a fuel stop.

Loud pipes may save lives, but when the cages are closing in on you, surprise is the element that will get you out of trouble.

Check out the easily installed and mountable
metric horns, or the "hide behind the bags" Harley versions at Kuryakyn's website.


November 13, 2009
Your Oil's Acid and Winter Storage
Motorcycle Piston If your bike is going to sit over the winter, it's generally regarded as a good idea to change its oil before you put it in storage.

Without getting lost in
the details, let's just say that burning fuel while you ride creates acid byproducts that get absorbed into your oil. And if your oil loses its ability to absorb that acid, then the whole mess sits in your engine over the winter, slowly eating away at the metal.

Topping off your gas tank is also a good idea to keep rust at bay. Adding a fuel stabilizer to that tank is a smart move as well because gasoline is made up of organic ingredients that degrade over time into
gummy varnish that's deposited throughout your fuel system as the gas is burned.

Read more here



May 7, 2009


Motorcycle operators have many things to think about before getting on their motorcycles. Weather, condition of road surfaces, traffic patterns, riding gear, things to pack and load, planned route of travel, frame of mind, and condition of your motorcycle to name a few.

Sometimes, the adrenaline rush that comes with anticipating the next ride and/or adventure overrides common sense or attention to a pre-ride checklist. The pre-ride checklist should include these ABCs:

A - Assess tire wear and tire pressure
B - Be sure cables operate freely
C - Check all lights and electrical system
D - Determine that oil and coolant levels are within normal parameters
E - Ensure all of the motorcycle's parts are secure

These are things that are already part of your motorcycle. What about the things the rider, and possibly your passenger, bring to load into or on the motorcycle: head covers, jackets, bags, shirts, groceries, tools, maps, cellphones, and purses? Are things loaded and secured in a way that handling the motorcycle will not be adversely affected?


One last thing: Test your brakes as you enter the roadway.

Safe riding,



Unless you live in a southern state, it's that time of year when not only the bears come out of hibernation, but bikers on their motorcycles as well. There's nothing quite as much fun as assembling a group of friends together for that first ride in the Spring. For some, it may be their first time back in the saddle since Fall. For others, it may only be a few weeks or months. Regardless of how long it has been since your bike has been out of the garage, there are some things you should remember.

Your skills, or others in your group, may be a little rusty on the first outing. Perhaps the group you are riding with has not ridden together before. Be sure you understand everyone's skill level before you head out.

Over the winter, roads may have deteriorated leaving sand, ruts, and large potholes for you to navigate around. Consider leaving additional distance between you and the riders in front of you. That distance can help them better manage their motorcycle around road hazards. It also provides more time for the other rider to alert you to a hazard or object in the road and for you to avoid it.

Be on the lookout for cagers. While your bike has been resting in the garage, automobile drivers have forgotten how to watch for motorcycles. Be especially careful when passing vehicles and at intersections. May sure you are visible. Position your bike so you can be seen. Wear reflective clothing when possible. Always use your turn signals with hand signals, and be sure to cancel your turn signal after a lane change or turn.

For additional information on group riding and carrying passengers, check out this article from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.




Americade offers free bike and trike safety training
Americade Press Release - Mar 3, 2009 by Cycle Matters


Americade, the world’s largest motorcycle touring rally, announces that they will now offer free trike safety training classes to all registered Americaders. Bill Dutcher, Americade Founder said;  "With the growing number of trike riders and the upswing in trike conversions in the motorcycle community, there's a growing need for effective instruction. Currently, Trike Riders International offers an excellent, proven trike instruction course, so we are delighted to partner with them."

The Trike Safety Training is offered through Trike Riders International in conjunction with the GWRRA (Gold Wing Road Riders Association). The full day course will be offered on two days. As with all safety training at Americade, the course is free to registered Americaders, but a fully refundable $50 deposit will be collected to guarantee the rider’s spot. This is the perfect opportunity for riders and co-riders to sharpen their riding skills.
These trike courses are in addition to the MSF Experienced RiderCourse that is always offered for registered Americaders throughout Americade Week. The classes last 5-6 hours and focus on managing traction, quick braking, and sharpening cornering and swerving skills. They also focus on using strategies to reduce risk as well as honing mental skills for traffic.
With over 50,000 expected to attend Americade, classes will surely fill quickly. Class size for both the ERC and Trike Safety Training is limited, and participants must pre-register for the courses through the Americade website.  This year, Americade runs from June 1st-6th.
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Honda FURY "chopper" for 2010
Honda Motorcycle News Release - Jan 21, 2009


On Friday, January 16th at the New York International Motorcycle Show, American Honda introduced to the world what many have deemed the most radically styled production Honda ever built: the 2010 Fury. The Fury radiates attitude and delivers a total riding experience approaching the outer limits of motorcycling.


The Fury opens the door to the most extreme level of custom looks. But once you're rolling, the Fury experience is all about that special bond between rider and machine: the unmistakable big V-twin pulse, the characteristic Vee engine note and the no-nonsense riding stance bring you back to the core elements of riding.


Destined to become a milestone machine, the Fury captures the pure, undiluted chopper essence, places it within easy reach of nearly every rider and then backs it up with the same quality and reliability built into every Honda. It's a radical concept in a unique package.  



Click here for more information and images of the 2010 Fury.


Fury Key Features:

  • Full-on chopper styling
  • Longest wheelbase ever in a production Honda motorcycle
  • Muscular V-twin power, sound and feel
  • Clean looks, superior attention to detail
  • Spacious riding position
  • Low seat height
  • Single-shock rear suspension features "hard tail" look
  • Extra-wide 200-series rear tire
  • Slim-look 21-inch front tire
  • Legendary Honda fit, finish and reliability
  • Unrivaled value


2010 Fury Development Story

The process of designing a new motorcycle always encompasses a huge array of factors and considerations. A profusion of calculations, measurements, specifications and more must be weighed, analyzed, dissected and crunched together to yield the proper result. However, one key factor that cannot be quantified in empirical terms always comes into play: a passion for the machine. And at Honda, our designers and engineers carry a passion for motorcycles to the extreme. So when they get the green light to give full force to such passions, some pretty wild things can happen.



Welcome to the wild side of Honda, where a passion for riding reigns supreme in the stunningly creative 2010 Fury. Here we have a machine packed with radical lines and a head-turning look, a motorcycle destined to become a milestone machine. The Fury is the offspring of people who get excited about creating new motorcycles, enthusiasts who understand what it means to get really involved with a machine. The Fury captures the pure, undiluted chopper essence, a genre of motorcycle that simply feels right, looks right and sounds right when it's done well, rather than a precise formula that's captured with a micrometer and calipers.


Choppers have been a part of the motorcycling scene for decades, but for the most part they've occupied a niche on the farthest edges of the sport. The first such machines were cobbled-up home-builts with a reputation for being crudely wrought and uncomfortable to ride. Since then choppers have evolved into rolling art, with true customs commanding a very high price. That's the beauty of the Fury. Even though it looks like rolling art from the two-wheeled world, it is backed up with the same functionality, fit and finish, quality and reliability built into every Honda.


Tapping into an extensive legacy of experience in building motorcycles of all types, Honda's engineers devised a design and incorporated technological advantages to make the Fury handle, function and ride according to Honda standards. Although stunning and daring in its visuals, the Fury is great fun to ride, with a look, feel and sound that place the rider squarely in the chopper domain. It's a Honda and you can use it like any other Honda, yet it carries attitude and looks to the extreme.


Better yet, this breakthrough motorcycle rests within easy reach of nearly every rider; in terms of affordability the Fury does indeed break new ground. It's a radical concept in a unique package, an affordable combination never before offered to the average motorcycle owner--until today.


The most obvious attraction to the Fury centers on its raked-out chopper styling: high-mount steering head that gives the frame a see-through, open-air look with plenty of breathing room between the tank/upper frame and the front cylinder head; slim and long fuel tank perched up high; ultra-low 26.7-inch seat height; big-time rake; fat 200-series rear tire paired with a slim 21-inch front wheel; a condensed, hard-tail look to the rear end; and a stretched wheelbase. And that long wheelbase is no illusion--the Fury stretches a full 71.2 inches between axles. Perhaps equally important is that a close-up inspection of the Fury reveals remarkably clean lines, a Spartan return to basics plus superior attention to detail that together create the distinct impression of a full-on hand-built custom bike, but at a mere fraction of the cost.


In truth, creation of the Fury posed a considerable challenge. This ground-breaking concept had to strike a delicate balance. The extended chopper look with its stretched wheelbase and exaggerated steering rake combines with the stellar levels of function that are part of every Honda. The design focus began with the high steering head/pronounced steering rake/open look in the front end and then radiated outward from there. With such a visually stunning appearance, the final incarnation of the Fury required a significant amount of communication and cooperation between the styling team in the USA at Honda Research Americas (HRA) and the Honda engineers at HGA in Japan. Original sketches and clay mock-ups were tweaked and refined in innumerable ways, leading to small but elegantly simple feats of engineering wizardry that were performed to achieve the goal.


For example, to maintain the remarkably uncluttered look between the front cylinder and the front downtube/radiator area, the top radiator hose is hidden away beneath the front valve cover--a patented idea that illustrates the extreme efforts expended on maintaining the airy look of the front end. Other examples are the long, slim and voluptuous look of the fuel tank, which had to be adjusted and modified repeatedly along with handlebar shape and size to allow the appropriate amount of steering clearance when the front wheel is turned from stop-to-stop. The design of each separate element shares cascading effects with other interrelated parts, resulting in a fluidity of design.


In similar fashion, the rear end of the bike had to look just right, yet still function like a Honda. The Fury incorporates a visual balance of positive and negative space between the airy front end and the more substantial engine and rear-end section; it may not be instantly apparent to some onlookers, but the design elements have been carefully integrated. The LED taillight was selected specifically because it does not affect the shape of the rear fender, which also lacks visible fender stays--all for the purpose of giving the rear fender a simple, clean and elegant shape.


In addition, there's no need to fret about what appears to be a rigid hard-tail rear end. Those sleek lines actually cloak an ingenious single-shock rear suspension system with an aluminum swingarm, adjustable rebound damping and five-position spring preload adjustment for exemplary riding comfort--definitely far and above the norm for a chopper-style motorcycle. Also, note the remarkably clean lines given to the aluminum swingarm, and the great efforts expended on bestowing smooth lines upon the driveshaft on the left side.


Up front, a stout 45mm fork handles suspension duties quite ably, and the distinctive alloy wheels have a single powerful 336mm-diameter front disc brake complemented by a 296mm brake disc in back.


Fire up the engine and waves of muscular V-twin power, sound and feel--vital elements that constitute the soul of the Fury--flood the senses. There's a fuel-injection system that's new to Honda's proven and muscular 1312cc liquid-cooled 52-degree V-twin with a single-pin crankshaft and dual balancers. A newly designed exhaust system and new camshafts also add to the creation of an engine that's eminently satisfying in the performance department as well as one that delivers the more intangible aesthetic sound and power-pulse sensations Honda engineers wanted. Short version: it's just plain cool to ride and hear this baby rumble.


With a full line of accessories available upon its release, the Fury is also positioned for additional customizing by owners who want to add that personal touch.


The Fury taps directly into the passion for riding; this is a machine built for people who have always longed for a chopper-style motorcycle. And for good reason--it's got to be the ultimate as far as cool factor goes, a bike profile that's instantly known and recognized. But this is also a chopper with a unique difference: you can simply ride it and enjoy, without all of the costs, compromises and headaches typically attached to such machines.


The Fury is a chopper that's also 100 percent Honda, with all the performance and quality that the name implies.


Honda Genuine Accessories: Note Fury Accessories are subject to change

  • Leather Accessories: Custom Rider Seat (multiple designs), Custom Passenger Seat (multiple designs), Leather Front Pouch (Fury logo).
  • Backrests: Low Sissy Bar Upright, Passenger Backrest Pad.
  • Chrome Accessories: Rear Fender Panel, Chrome Allen Bolt Inserts (5, 6, 8mm).
  • Billet Accessories: Master Cylinder Cover, Oil Dipstick, Clutch Cover, Timing Cover, Upper Fork Bolt Cover, License Plate Frame.
  • Additional Accessories: Boulevard Screen, Braided Lines (clutch, idle/throttle and brake) Front Chin Spoiler (color matched), Front Chin Spoiler LED Light Kit, Outdoor Cover

 read more here



Caring for your motorcycle during hibernation
By Maverick - Oct 22, 2007

Caring for your motorcycle during hibernation
Care and maintenance of a motorcycle during extended non use is as important to safe operation as responsible riding and handling.  In providing this information, I assume the motorcycle owner is not driving the bike for four to six weeks or more.  If this is not the case, he/she will want to adjust care and maintenance accordingly.  I consider a bike "in use” if it is operated at least every two weeks (each week is better), however, sitting for four weeks will not cause major operating issues as long as it is clean, dry, the tires are rotated and inflated properly, etc. 
Following are the most critical areas of winter care or other extended non-use of your motorcycle.  These recommendations are easily completed by motorcycle operators themselves, however if in doubt, make an appointment with your local dealer or trusted maintenance provider.  Always use your Owner’s Manual as a guide and remember; the best way to care for the inside of your bike is to lube and oil according to Owner’s Manual recommendations and start it and ride it for 30 minutes every week.
  • Keep your motorcycle clean and dry.  I’ve learned that commingled elements such as road chemicals, oil, gas, bugs, etc. and moisture continue to work or “ferment” while you bike is at rest.  Keeping it clean and dry removes most of the critical elements and minimizes the potential damage to paint, chrome and functionality.
  • Clean, seal and wax painted surfaces.  Most motorcycle stores have “waxes” and “detail and wax” combinations that they will recommend.  You can also locate and purchase a suitable option on-line via your favorite website.
  • Keep fuel tank full to prevent collection of moisture inside the tank, and add gas storage additive (can be obtained from any MC shop or on-line).
  • Care for your battery.  If you intend not to use your bike for extended periods, it is best to remove the battery, clean it using a cloth and if you discover corrosion, clean posts and corroded area with baking soda and water.  If you are using a non-maintenance-free battery and your battery becomes low on electrolyte fluid, make sure you refill it with distilled water.  Motorcycle storage should be moisture free and connected to a battery tender.  Even if you do not store your bike, connecting to a battery tender is a good idea throughout the colder months because a cold engine uses more battery power to start it.
  • Check pressure and inflate/deflate tires to recommended levels.  Consult your Owner’s Manual.
  • Change your oil and oil filter.  This is fairly easy to do but if you value your time, you may wish to schedule an appointment with your favorite dealer or maintenance provider.
  • Check electrical system.  Any time you clean your bike, it is wise to pay attention to the condition of connections, wires and electrical operation.
  • Cover your bike with a cover (an old bed sheet will do) that will allow any moisture to evaporate. Trapped moisture will facilitate corrosion, especially if other elements (chemicals) are present.
  • Store your pride and joy in a location that does not have significant temperature swings and that has low humidity.   Vapor barrier plus a 4’ X 8’ piece of carpet (covering the vapor barrier) is a good combination to neutralize moisture transfer from the ground/floor up.
The staff of Cycle Matters is interested in your comments about this article. If you are already a member of Cycle Matters, click on “Comment” at the end of this article to add you comments.
You must be a member of Cycle Matters to add comments. Membership is free! Click on My Garage, input your profile, and save it. You will receive an e-mail message asking you to verify your membership by clicking on the enclosed link. As a member of Cycle Matters, you are able to post your comments on this and any other article on this website. Log in and share your thoughts with the Cycle Matters community of motorcycle enthusiasts.



Indian Motorcycle launches Factory Delivery Program
Indian Motorcycle Press Release - Jan 8, 2009

Indian Motorcycle launches Factory Delivery Program

Indian Motorcycle announced today its new Factory Delivery Program which allows customers to order a motorcycle through an authorized dealership and pick it up at the factory. All 2009 Indian Chiefs are eligible for the new delivery program. Factory Delivery offers a personal VIP tour of the factory and world headquarters located in Kings Mountain, N.C., 37 miles west of Charlotte.

The VIP tour is given by a member of the IMC staff who guides participants through each step of the bike building process. Beginning in engine assembly and ending on the vehicle build line, new owners get to observe a team of craftsmen building the next generation of Indian Chief Motorcycles.

Read More Click HERE



Orange County Choppers MotoCoaster
Darien Lake Press Release - May 20, 2008


Darien Lake Theme Park Resort, New York, announced a strategic alliance with New York based Orange County Choppers (OCC). The partnership, which is the first theme park alliance for OCC, includes naming Darien Lake’s newest thrill ride – a motorcycle themed roller coaster - the Orange County Choppers MotoCoaster. OCC will also build a custom bike inspired by the new ride and overall Darien Lake Theme Park Resort experience.

The Teutuls, founders of OCC, are slated to make various appearances throughout the season at Darien Lake Theme Park Resort. In June, the Teutuls will return to the park to unveil the finished custom bike which will remain on permanent display at Darien Lake Theme Park Resort. During the unveiling of the custom Darien Lake chopper, new themeing for the re-named Orange County Choppers MotoCoaster will also be presented.

In addition, as part of the alliance, Darien Lake Theme Park Resort guests will have the opportunity to win an exclusive Orange County Choppers production bike, painted with a unique Darien Lake design.

“We are excited to partner with Orange County Choppers as we present this first of its kind roller coaster experience to Western New York,” said Christopher Thorpe, Darien Lake’s General Manager. “It is truly an awesome partnership for both organizations and a great opportunity to have fun with fans while delivering a completely unique ride experience.”

About Orange County Choppers, Inc.:
Paul Teutul, Sr., metalworker by trade and founder of Orange County Choppers, first began his business of building custom choppers out of the basement of his home in Montgomery, NY. With the creative help and following of his oldest son, Paul Jr., the two were soon on their way to the top with the success of Paul Sr.’s first bike, “True Blue” at Daytona Biketoberfest in 1999. From that point on, Paul Sr. knew he had something and established Orange County Choppers that same year.

The Teutuls were quickly becoming recognized by chopper enthusiasts everywhere. They were not only making a name for themselves in the custom bike world, but were picked up by the Discovery Channel in 2002 as the basis of what is now the hit television series, American Chopper. Their popularity has led them to build custom theme bikes for some of the biggest names in corporate America such as Intel, Sunoco and Hewlett-Packard. Today, Orange County Choppers is regarded as one of the world’s premier builders of custom motorcycles.

About Darien Lake Theme Park Resort:
Darien Lake Theme Park Resort, owned and operated by PARC Management, is New York State’s largest theme park and resort, located between Buffalo and Rochester, NY and just a short drive from Niagara Falls. The resort includes three on-site lodging choices including a 162-room themed hotel, RV rental and a 1,200 site campground. With more than 100 rides, shows and attractions, kids’ park, waterpark and a 20,000-capacity outdoor concert venue, Darien Lake is the family vacation destination.


Click here for more information.



Triumph Thunderbird Set for 2010

By Bart Madson

At the INTERMOT Cologne show, Triumph unveiled its new Thunderbird cruiser to take on the Big Twins in America. Powered by a 1599 DOHC Parallel Twin, the Thunderbird bridges the gap between Triumph's smaller displacement cruisers and the mammoth Rocket III.

The new Twin gets its displacement via a big 103.8 x 94.3mm bore and stroke. Power claims on the new Thunderbird's spec sheet claims "in excess of" 80 hp and 100 lb-ft of torque. Driving that power to the rear wheel is a belt drive and six-speed transmission. The all-new powerplant is liquid-cooled with fuel injection.

The chassis includes cast aluminum five-spoke wheels mated to a tubular steel frame and swingarm. Showa suspension components are sourced – 47mm fork up front and chromed spring shocks out back (shocks are five-position preload adjustable.)

Dual 310mm front rotors are pinched by 4-piston Nissin calipers, with rear braking a single 310mm rotor teamed with a 2-piston Brembo caliper. ABS will be available as an option for potential customers.

A 5.5-gallon fuel tank also houses the instrument cluster, with speedo, tach and LCD display. The Thunderbird will also utilize self-cancelling turn signals.

Built to compete directly with the Twin Cam Harley-Davidson, the new Triumph Thunderbird will be an important piece of the American Triumph strategy.

"It's been obvious for many years to people that from the American Speedmaster, there's a big gap between those bikes and the Rocket III," said Simon Warburton, Triumph Head Product Manager. "We see the future of the Thunderbird being a big part of our range."

The base model will feature numerous accessories for customization, including touring and two-up extras, as well as cosmetic upgrades. American Trumpet fans will have to wait, however, as the new Thunderbird is not slated for US shores until September of 2009, making it a 2010 model. Pricing for the US market is yet to be determined. 

2010 Triumph Thunderbird Specs:
Engine: 1599cc liquid-cooled, DOHC, Parallel Twin, 270º firing interval
Bore/Stroke: 103.8 x 94.3mm
Maximum Power In excess of 80 bhp
Maximum Torque In excess of 100 lb-ft
Fuel System: Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection with SAI , progressive linkage on throttle
Final Drive: Toothed belt
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
Gearbox: 6-speed constant mesh, helical type
Frame: Tubular steel, twin spine
Swingarm: Twin sided, steel
Front Wheel: Cast aluminium alloy 5-spoke 19 x 3.5 inch
Rear Wheel: Cast aluminium alloy 5-spoke 17 x 6 inch
Front Tire: 120/70 R19
Rear Tire: 200/50 R17
Front Suspension: Showa 47mm forks
Rear Suspension: Showa chromed spring twin shocks with 5-position-adjustable preload
Front Brakes: Twin 310mm fixed discs. Nissin 4-piston fixed calipers
Rear Brakes: Single 310mm fixed disc. Brembo 2-piston floating caliper
Instrument display/functions: Tank mounted instrumentation with large speedo, integrated tacho and LCD display with odometer, twin trip counters, range-to-empty and clock. Auto-cancelling indicators
Length: 2350mm (92.5 in)
Width: (Handlebars) 947mm (37.2 in) (TBC)
Height: 1216mm (47.9 in) (TBC)
Seat Height: 702mm (27.6 in) (TBC)
Wheelbase: 1641mm (64.6in)
Rake/Trail: 32°/151.3mm
Dry Weight TBC
Fuel Tank Capacity: 21 litres (5.5 gal US)


Motorcycle Tires Product Guide
By MotorcycleUSA Staff

Motorcycle Tire Buyer's Guide

Buying new motorcycle tires ain't what it used to be. In fact, it can be downright intimidating if you're not up to date with the current vernacular that surrounds motorcycle tires: V or Z ratings, 180s, 240s, radial or bias ply, load indexes, speed ratings - see what I mean? It's easy to get overwhelmed by the wealth of information that's out there. So Motorcycle USA wants to ease the pain of the process by offering a basic guide for knowing when it's time to break open the wallet and come up with a few dollars to throw down for some new treads.

Motorcycle tires are often ignored and underappreciated, which isn't the smartest of decisions since they are the intermediary between you and a face-full of asphalt. Even more than with automobiles, running on the proper motorcycle tires are paramount to safe transportation. The right tire can also mean the difference between being crowned MotoGP World Champion or settling for runner-up - just ask Valentino Rossi. Even if you're not looking to drag a knee at Sepang, it's just as imperative for the layman rider to keep their tires in the best possible working condition. 

Bridgestone, Michelin, Metzler, Dunlop and more... There's a lot of tire ground to cover. So here it is. We're by no means claiming to be the authority on tire selection and maintenance, but we wanted to provide readers with some general guides and answers to some of the FAQs when it comes time to slap on a set of new rubbers.

How to Know When it's Time for a New Motorcycle Tire
It doesn't take a genius to know you need new motorcycle tires. When your back end starts to feel a little loose in corners that you've blasted through a hundred times before, it's time to check your tread depth. Use the built-in tread wear indicators. When the tire is worn down to the indicators that are set at 1/32nd inch (0.8 millimeters) or when the tread groove depth is even less, it's time to change. Thin tires are penetrated by nails and shrapnel much easier than ones with healthy tread. A good way to gauge this is with a penny. Take a penny and stick it upside down in the tread groove. The space between the edge of the penny and the top of Lincoln's head is about 1/32nd of an inch. If Lincoln needs a haircut, you need a new tire. If the tire cord or fabric is exposed, the tire is dangerously worn and must be replaced immediately. 

It's also a good idea to inspect the conditions of your wheels periodically. Bent rims may cause wheel wobble, bead unseating and, in the case of tubeless tires, gradual air loss. Sudden wheel failure may result from the use of cracked cast wheels. Bent rims and bent or cracked cast wheels should be replaced immediately.

Finally, inspect your tires for uneven wear. Wear on one side of the tread or flat spots in the tread may indicate a problem with the tire or motorcycle. Always heed warning signs such as vibration, handling instability, rubbing or tire noise that occurs during operation of the motorcycle. If this is the case, it's best to contact your local dealer. 

Off-Road - One of the main differences between street and 
dirt bike tires is in determining wear factor - you definitely don't want to get your knobbies down to 1/32-inch! The most critical deciding factor is personal feel. Technically you can run those knobbies down to pathetic little nubbins, but the further they are worn, the more susceptible they are to puncture and fatigue failure, not to mention a lack of traction and safety. Once you can feel the performance of your tire slipping - literally - then it's time to start looking for a replacement. Keep in mind that some rounding of the front edge can actually increase performance on harder terrain, so don't go tossing a perfectly good tire if it isn't biting right away. Most meats, however, are going to only get worse with age and use. Some tires chunk or tear worse than others, but watch the wear grooves in the center lugs to indicate how abused the rubber is. If there aren't any grooves left it's time to move on.

Motorcycle Tire Inflation

Why the capital letters? Because we can't stress this enough. Check your tires' air pressure at least once a week and before long trips. Be sure to use an accurate pressure gauge. Common sense, you say? You'd be surprised. 

Check air pressure when the tires are cold. Tires are cold when a motorcycle has been ridden less than a mile at moderate speed or after it has been sitting for three or more hours. Never release air from a hot tire in order to reach the recommended cold tire pressure. Normal riding causes tires to run hotter and inflation pressure to increase. If you release air when your tires are hot, you may under-inflate your tires to dangerous levels. 

If for some reason your tires are losing more than two psi per month, the tire, valve, or wheel may be damaged. Have your local dealer check it out. Always keep the air pressure in both tires at the manufacturer's recommended psi. Your motorcycle owner's manual will tell you this magic number. On some motorcycles, the recommended front and rear tire pressures differ, and the numbers stamped on the sidewall of the tire are often only for maximum loads. Occasionally, these pressure numbers are the manufacturer's recommended settings as well, but always check your owner's manual first. Having the proper tire pressure improves handling, gas mileage and keeps you safer in the saddle.

Riding on underinflated motorcycle tires is dangerous for several reasons. The tires will build excessive heat and can cause sudden tire failure. Under inflation causes irregular tread wear at the edge of the contact patch and may also damage the tire beyond use. It will affect cornering, cause you to lose precious gas mileage, and can cause fatigue cracking.

Riding on tires with too much air is equally as dangerous. The tires are more likely to be cut, punctured, or broken by sudden impact. Overinflating will cause the bike to ride hard and will cause the tire to wear out quickly in the center of the contact patch. Do not exceed the pressure indicated on the tire sidewall. Consult your owner's manual for the recommended psi and for other useful tidbits of info on your tires. 

Never inflate a tire unless it is secured to the motorcycle or a tire-mounting machine. Inflating an unsecured tire is dangerous because if it bursts, it could be hurled into the air with lethal force. 

Another helpful hint is to use factory valve caps and to keep valve cores clean and clear of debris to help guard against air leakage. And while the chrome skull-shaped valve caps look cool, it's better to keep the original caps on your valve stems because the manufacturer's valves have a rubber gasket in the top and will seal better. Valve caps not only keep debris and water out of your valve stem, they keep the air in. Wheel rotation can be enough to cause a valve core to open due to the centrifugal force generated.

Motorcycle tires with non-repairable damage must not be used again. This type of damage can be incurred by hard impacts, penetrations or by continued use of an underinflated/overloaded tire. Such types of damage are progressive and can cause sudden and complete tire failure and result in an accident.

Off-Road - Most of this holds true for off-road as well, but because of the dirt world's changing terrain, tires can serve as more of a ride-tailoring factor. Different rubber compounds and tread patterns are critical to finding the ultimate traction whether you ride in sand, mud, loam, blue-groove or any combination. Most bikes come from the dealership with an intermediate tread of some kind, which should work well enough to get you started. Once that tire is shredded, keep in mind how it performed and what your normal riding terrain is like before purchasing your next meat. Bike and tire manufacturers provide recommended psi figures, but in the dirt world they aren't necessarily the end all be all.

Proper inflation depends entirely on where you are riding. High speed, rocky terrain requires higher psi to avoid pinching tubes and tacoed rims. However, leaving 18 pounds in after a weekend desert ride and then hitting the muddy forest trails for a mid-week outing will probably result in a soil sample. As a general rule of thumb, 11-15 pounds will get you through most terrain in suitable fashion, but don't be afraid to experiment with the pressure a bit as you get more comfortable with your tires. Just make sure to make slow and steady adjustments. Elevation can also have an affect on inflation so it never hurts to pack a pump before you head out to the mountains. Always be sure to check your pressure and adjust it accordingly.

Another thing to keep in mind with off-road tires is the rim lock, also called a bead lock. Since flats are more common off-road, these little babies can mean the difference between getting back to the truck or a long, miserable night. We like to run our rim locks pretty stinkin' tight. Small punctures can sometimes be fixed on the trail with patch kits or slime (though this should only be used as a temporary fix to get you home), but if the tire spins too violently on the rim it will tear the stem out of the tube, and then there's no hope for a simple repair. Make sure not to cinch the nut down so tight that it damages the rim, but we like to give ours an extra little twist just to make sure it's going to hold.

Wheel Balance & Alignment
You might think it's not as important to have motorcycle tires balanced and aligned, but it is. Have your tire/wheel assemblies balanced before using them and rebalanced each time the tire is removed or replaced. Unbalanced tire/wheel assemblies can vibrate at certain speeds, greatly accelerating tire wear. If you take off your rear wheel or adjust the chain or belt, have your tire balanced. Each revolution of an incorrectly aligned wheel can scuff off tread rubber, reduce tire mileage, and impair steering and cornering.

Front and Rear Tire Matching
Correct matching of front and rear tires is important for peak performance and handling. Mating a new tire with a worn tire is never a good idea. It is best to follow the Tire Selection guidelines provided by the manufacturers and change out both tires at the same time if possible. A new front tire with a worn rear tire can cause instability. 

Also, make sure that the tires are mounted in accordance with the directional arrows. There are two main reasons for directional arrows. The first of these is that some motorcycle tires now have tread patterns that are designed for a specific rotation for optimum performance, particularly on wet roads. Directional arrows indicate the proper directional rotation.

Secondly, running a tire will set up a wear pattern and it might not roll smoothly if reversed. Use the directional arrow to re-fit a tire in its original direction.

Off-Road - It isn't as important in dirt to have matching tire sets. Plenty of riders even swap brands between front and rear based on their personal preferences. When it comes to wear, if you can afford a complete set at every change then go for it, but a front tire will generally last as long as two rears. Again, look at the wear markers and always err on the side of safety. Most off-road tires are not directional and can even be reversed to stretch additional life out of them. But, there are some, especially soft-terrain and dual-sport meats, that can have a specific rotational tread pattern. Always make sure to pay attention to any arrows or markers on the sidewall and obey them.

Don't Mix and Match Bias and Radial Tires
Bias and radial tires have significantly different dynamic properties. Bias. bias belted and radial tires have different construction types and therefore have different abilities to carry side and peripheral forces as well as having varied damping characteristics. The introduction of radial tires required changes to certain characteristics of the motorcycle. The development of the radial tire led to frame modifications, new steering geometries and suspensions. That's why it is recommended that a motorcycle be used with the type of tire construction that it came with originally. Do not mix bias ply and radial tires on the same motorcycle unless it has the approval of the motorcycle or tire manufacturer.

Tread Pattern and Compound
Tread pattern is the outer part of the tire and in contact with the road. The profile of a tire and the rubber compound chosen is based on the use of the tire. Generally, 
street motorcycle tires with a harder rubber compound get better gas mileage but don't stick to the road as well. The softer the rubber compound, the grippier a tire is, at the sacrifice of gas mileage.

Tread has everything to do with the circumstances you'll be driving in most. A treadless racing slick will stick to the road like glue but is useless in the rain. Tread is needed for traction in wet conditions. That's why off-road tires have a very high tread. It enables them to maintain traction in the mud and deal with the adverse geography of off-road riding. 

Tread builds up heat within a tire and reduces its effectiveness. An all-round tire has a light tread with a medium-hard compound base. This arrangement allows it to travel many miles without breaking down fast and provides stability in varying conditions. 

Off-Road - Depending on where you ride, there is ultimately a tire compound best suited to your needs. Ranging from soft compounds for hard terrain to hard compounds for digging up that spongy loam, the type of rubber you use will directly affect your off-road performance. There is a difference in tread pattern and lug depth as well. Obviously, each tire is a bit different from any other, but aside from the normal variations, there's a big change in recent years due to the development of modern 4-strokes. Different power delivery and handling characteristics have led tire manufacturers to build specific 4-stroke treads. These meats typically have a wider tread pattern and an increased amount of lugs, especially on the sides. It's not to say that these tires won't work for 2-strokes, or vice-versa, but the specialized designs are becoming more available as the tire industry catches up to the new technology.

When putting on a new tire that requires a tube, slap on a new tube at the same time. Old tubes become stretched, and if an old tube is fitted in a new tire, it can crease and eventually fail due to thinning of the tube rubber. Tubes should be repaired only by an expert. 

Always match the size markings on tubes to the tire. Don't fit tubes in radial motorcycle tires and don't fit radials on rims requiring tubes unless the tubes bear matching size and radial (R) markings. 

Load-Carrying Capabilities
Tires come with different load-carrying capacities. Read your owner's manual. It will list accessory restrictions and a motorcycle's load capacity. The maximum load figures are also molded on the tire sidewall. Before a trip, determine the total weight of luggage, equipment, and rider(s) to be added to the motorcycle. Be careful not to under-inflate tires which will reduce the bike's load-carrying capability. 

Trailers can also cause extreme tire stresses and overloads that can cause irreversible damage and result in sudden tire failure and accidents. Most tire manufacturers do not recommend the use of trailers and will not warrant tires used on bikes fitted with trailers.

Load Index Table will tell you how many pounds a tire can handle depending on its index rating. This load rating is often stamped on the side of the tire or you can consult your trusty owner's manual. 

Breaking in New Tires
Give yourself a little time to get used to the way your new tires perform. When worn tires are replaced with differently patterned or constructed tires, they are not going to ride the same. 

When new tires are fitted, give them a break-in distance of at least 100 miles. That means avoid revving the engine up to maximum power, don't tilt too far leaning into a turn or blast into corners. This gives riders time to get the feel of the new tires, to find the edge, and will give them ample opportunity to find the best road grip for a range of speeds, acceleration and handling use. After your first big ride, check and adjust the tire's inflation to recommended levels after it has cooled for at least three hours.

Off-Road - A new dirt tire can be toast in 100 miles. The break in period for off-road is as quick as your learning curve can handle. You still need to be careful at first and get used to some of the grip qualities and handling characteristics so that you don't overestimate the available traction.

Take Care of Your New Tires
These are not your tires' friends:

Sunlight - Tires stored in direct sunlight for long periods of time will harden and age more quickly than those kept in a dark or dimly lit area.

Oil and Gasoline - Prolonged contact with oil or gasoline causes contamination of the rubber compound. Wipe off any oil or gasoline immediately with a clean rag. This warning applies to corrosives or non-rubber compatible liquids as well. Avoid cleaners or dressings like Armor All. These may degrade the rubber and remove ozone cracking and weather-checking resistance. If you've got raised tires with sidewalls, white stripes or raised white lettering, which are common on 
cruiser motorcycle tires, use a mild soap solution to clean them up and then rinse with plain water. 

Always seek expert inspection of the tire after plunking a curb, pothole or whenever you run over something hard. If a bulge appears, or if tire pressure decreases, don't ride on it. Take it in and have your local dealer check it out. 

How to Read a Tire
With all the numbers and letters on the side of a tire, it's easy to get confused, so here is the basic breakdown of what each one designates. 

Metric Designations
130/90 - 16 67 H
130=Tire width (mm)
90 = Aspect Ratio (90%)
16 =Rim Diameter (in.)
67 = Load Rating
H =Speed Rating

Alphabetical Designations
MT 90 - 16 Load Range B
M=Motorcycle Code
T=Tire Width Code
90=Aspect Ratio (90%)
16=Rim Diameter (in.)
Load Range B=Load Rating

Inch Designations
5.00 H 16 4PR
5.00=Section Width
H=Speed Rating
16=Rim Diameter (in.)
4PR=Casing Strength (ply rating)

Speed Ratings
If you're going to be stuffing the saddlebags for a long trip or plan on taking your honey on a nice road trip, the added weight is going to change the handling characteristics of your bike. Luckily, the good people at the International Standards Organization (ISO) have researched how much pressure needs to be in a tire when a bike is carrying extra weight and provides riders with the results of their findings in the form of the ISO Load/Speed Index. 

This code, when present, appears after the size marking. The code is made up of three characters-- two numbers and a letter. So, if your tire is stamped like this - 130/90 - 16 67 H - then the Load/Speed Index is the 67 H. The two-digit number is a code for the maximum load carrying capacity of the tire. The letter is a maximum speed rating and lets you know the highest speed at which the tire may be used safely with a full load when the maximum listed tire inflation pressure is used.

Sometimes tires won't have the Load/Speed Index listed at the end. They sometimes use the letters below stamped in between the width and the wheel diameter. The following table lists the speed ratings for each category of tire. The speed rating means that when a tire is pumped up to the maximum inflation pressure when carrying a load, the tire will perform safely up to a designated speed. The amount of pressure that needs to be in the tire, the maximum load that specific tire can handle and the highest speed you can travel at safely on that tire is stamped on the sidewall for you. You just need to know how to understand the code. Click this link to see a list of 
speed ratings.

A couple of quick notes... Certain "V" or "VR" rated tires may have a speed capacity greater then 149mph (240kph). Check with your local tire distributor for maximum speed information if your motorcycle exceeds this speed capability. 

Tires also come with a Z or ZR rating. These are high-performance tires built for speed. When they are pumped up to the max, the tire is will roll safely with the maximum marked sidewall load at sustained speeds in excess of 149mph and up to a speed determined by the tire manufacturer when installed on a specific motorcycle. Again, check with your local tire manufacturer to get these numbers. 

And don't think that putting on a tire with a higher rating will upgrade your bike's performance. When a motorcycle manufacturer decides on the tires for a particular model, they make sure that the speed rating of the tire meets the maximum speed capability of the motorcycle. If you fit higher speed-rated tires, there is a good chance that you will sacrifice some other performance aspect such as mileage. This being the case, it is usually best to stay with the speed rating of the original tires.