MoCo news: Sweetening the pot

by on January 9, 2010
in Brands

Yes yes, I know, not every rider longs for a Harley. But for those who do, HD is sweetening the pot this month (yes, the month of January) with a special offer for owners of other brands. Just take your competing brand bike in for a trade, and they’ll give you an extra $500 over your trade-in. (Roads covered in ice? Here’s a tip – you can probably ask your dealer if they’ll pick up your trade-in.) Here’s the link for complete info on the HD website.

And, if you think you might want to own an HD but don’t know which model is for you, check out this new “build your bike” app on the MoCo’s Facebook page that will help you figure it all out.  Hey if nothing else it’s a way to kill a few minutes while you’re waiting for the snow to melt.

Finally, just a quick plug for one of the things I like best about the Harley brand – the community of riders. Once you do get that dream bike, be sure to join your local Harley Owners Group (HOG) chapter. You’ll find an instant family of fellow riders eager to lead (or follow) you down the road.

Harley catalog features rider mosaic

by on August 19, 2009
in Brands

Earlier this year, the folks at Harley Davidson invited riders to submit photos of themselves and their bikes, enjoying the road and the ride. They used these photos to create a mosaic design for their 2010 new-model catalog, and provided a link to the mosaic online so those who submitted photos can find themselves in the design. Be sure to browse the online version!

HD Rider Mosaic

New carpet, now the drapes don’t match

by on July 27, 2009
in Bikes I've Owned

When we moved to our new house last fall, I realized that all my  “shabby chic” and garden-style home accessories weren’t really going to look right in our new late-50’s ranch-style home. (Not that you could see them through all the clutter in the old house, but… I tried.)

Same with the new bike… I always thought of the Picky Bitch as my “rough and ready girl.” In my mind, she was sort of old-style in looks (because of the peanut tank) and “western” in spirit – in a classic cowgirl kind of way.  So I outfitted her with bad-girl fringe, slouchy saddlebags, and “live to ride” eagle emblems.

New Bike already feels really different – sleek and lots of chromey bits (including my fave – spoked front wheel!). I did put my fringe lever covers on her, but I’m not sure they “fit” with her personality.

On the other hand, maybe she’s just a more powerful cowgirl. Guess I will have to ride a bit more and let her tell me what she’s all about.

Either way, I’m not givin’ up my red Ariat boots!

I bought a new bike!

by on July 22, 2009
in Bikes I've Owned

And *snap,* just like that, I’m the proud owner of a new bike! Here’s my gleaming new-to-me 2007 HD Sportster 1200 Custom! Couple of changes that have to happen QUICK – need to put the stock handlebars back on it (these drag bars are RIDICULOUSLY narrow and too far forward), and it needs a windshield. But, this bike is FUN, and gorgeous.

‘Course, that means my 883 will soon be for sale so watch this space for complete info. WOOHOO!

Update 1, 7/22/09: Handlebars totally fixed and COOL now thanks to Steve and Garry… also added the windshield off the 883 AND Kristin gave me a nice luggage rack to put on so I’ve got something to hook my T-bag to. Took a nice evening solo ride to get some bonding time – funny, she’s a little sluggy at slower speeds (think that’s because someone put Vance & Hines pipes on her but didn’t do any re-mapping to account for them) but on the highway, she’s zippy and nimble, and rides smooth. 

Update 2, 7/23/09: Here’s a fun bit of minutia – I found the post on this blog where I announced the purchase of The Picky Bitch, and sharing my first impressions of her. Of the problems I mentioned, we never did do anything about the clutch and with regular use it got easier for me to pull.  And of course, I put buckhorn bars on it shortly after I bought it and rode those for a couple years, then had mini-apes put on it in 2007 and rode those for two years. The one thing I noticed that didn’t “hold up” from my original post was the notion of not needing a sixth gear. The bike didn’t feel strained at 60 mph, but at 75 (going across I-90 in South Dakota) I did wish for one more gear. Certainly not a problem, just something I noticed.  Kind of neat to have all this “history” recorded to look back on!

Best ‘biker chick’ story ever, plus links of interest

by on July 21, 2009
in Misc Updates

Sometimes my random web reading really pays off. I have a “Google alert” set up to notify me whenever someone writes a blog post using the phrase “biker chick,” and many of the results are utterly useless. THIS, however, is quite possibly THE FUNNIEST ‘biker chick’ story I have ever read. Check out what happens when ‘Dreamgirl’ goes on a date with her tall, dark and mysterious Spanish Harley rider.

Haha, Shirley’s been bit by the “Iowa Historic Marker bug.” She told me the other day that she really enjoyed the trip to Tama and got to thinking about other historic sites around the State, and now wants to ride to the American Gothic House in Eldon, and the Villisca Murder House. Both of which are ALSO on my must-ride list, so we will be planning those soon along with a visit to the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend and the museum showcasing the wreck of the Steamboat Bertrand in Missouri Valley.

Cripes, if you want to wallow in accident reports, set up a Twitter alert for the words “woman motorcycle”.  Nothing but death and destruction. But, there was one gem, from @MissAdventuring (Carla King) who linked to this  thorough “how-to” guide to buying a used motorcycle.

Finally, earlier this spring Harley-Davidson’s very own Willie G. Davidson was a presenter at the American Country Music Awards and participated in the Chairman’s Ride. Video footage of the ride is now available and features many of country music’s biggest stars including: Eddie Montgomery, Troy Gentry, Toby Keith, James Otto, and Krista Marie, as well as Willie G. Davidson. Check out the ride at the HD YouTube channel.

Your ride photos needed for HD catalog photo mosaic

by on May 11, 2009
in Brands

It may not be the cover of the Rolling Stone, but still pretty cool: Harley Davidson is looking for 10,000 HD owners to be featured in a photo mosaic on the cover of their 2010 Motorcycle Catalog.  Riders around the world are invited to pick a favorite photo of themselves with their bike or of a riding experience (rallies, events, etc.) and upload it to the mosaic through the Harley-Davidson website. Of course, you must be the owner of the photo to upload it – you can’t upload someone else’s personal or professional work.

Here’s the submission link with complete details:

Marketing to women who ride: bring it on!

by on April 21, 2009
in Women Riders

Diane over at Road Captain USA has a wonderful post rounding up a variety of thoughts on International Female Ride Day (May 1) and the designation by Harley Davidson of May as Women Riders Month.

In the comments, the debate continues about the value of women ‘celebrating’ their growing market share in some kind of official or organized way. In particular, Chessie makes some excellent points and questions whether Harley Davidson was the appropriate entity to designate Women Rider’s Month. (She notes that a group such as Motor Maids would likely have taken an approach that was less about profit and more about education or safety.)

I personally don’t have a problem with HD taking the lead and proclaiming a month for women riders. For one thing, they’re only proclaiming it on behalf of themselves: it’s their opportunity to showcase women who ride HD motorcycles, offer specials on gear, host some rides, and generally promote the ideas they’ve developed around the female market.

Perhaps more telling, though, is that in all their long history, groups like Motor Maids have not done this – and now I’m curious as to why.

Why, if their focus all along has been women riders, did they never put the power of their nationwide chapter network behind the task of creating Women Riders Month, perhaps with an awareness or safety focus?  Apparently, such a thing never occurred to them or was not important to them. That’s fine, but that doesn’t make them more deserving now of the attention or the money that may come out of it.

Finally, on the notion that HD is “just trying to make money”: of course they are, and I say let them! This is still a capitalist society (at least for the moment), and they are a business hoping to stay afloat. I have long wished for companies like HD to PLEASE market to women with quality, appropriately-sized clothing, bikes built for my shorter stature, more style choices in accessories, etc. So, personally I welcome them attempting to make money off of me because I have needs and they have something to offer.

While each ride we take is indeed an affirmation regardless of what the calendar or “the MoCo” says, I see nothing wrong with setting aside a day to reflect and celebrate being women who ride. (After all, we love our mothers all year-round, but we still have Mother’s Day!) And, if HD wants to pick a month to focus on me, who am I to argue?

More to the point, if Motor Maids or anyone else wishes to put their own spin on Women Riders Month, or pick a different month altogether, I’m all for that too. As far as I’m concerned, HD may have named it but they’ve only taken the approach that meets their own needs. Other groups, with other needs, should step up and do likewise.