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Archive for the ‘Motorcycle Events’ Category

Often people think what can they do to extend their motorcycle riding fun. Just going for senseless rides is not the way to go. Group rides are fine, but what about volunteering for one of the many local sports events.

Many sports events, like bicycles, marathon, triathlon and other road races require escorts (the motorcycle kind – wink wink), often by motorcycles. The escort duty can be marshaling, in other words having an “official” as pillion who has to ensure that no one cheats and that all rules are respected, or to ride around with a press photographer as pillion, or just as safety motorcycle, making sure that all participants can race in safety.

It’s great fun, and you are actually in the middle of the sports event. A bit like being able to run around the football field during the Superbowl.

But riding your motorcycle in a sports event does require a certain ability and experience. You’ll need to be able to ride real slowly, since often the race participants will be slow (like running), or even when it’s a bicycle race, imagine riding up a steep mountain following a cyclist. You’ll be doing only several miles per hour with a pillion sitting behind you moving around to take photos.

And when you’re not going very slow, you’re going very fast, for example, when following cyclist going down a mountain. Bicycles can go around those corners often faster than motorcycles, so you’ll need all your wits and abilities to do the same, but in this case having a 6.4” 300 pounds gorilla sitting behind you shifting around.

You also need to keep in control of your motorcycle, since often you’ll be inches away from the race participants who are jockeying to get into a better position.

But despite the challenges, it’s fun to ride as an escort service for race events. It gives a feeling of accomplishment; 1) from helping people compete in a sports event and 2) for riding your motorcycle for a good reason.

To find out where you can volunteer for escort duty, check your local bicycle race or running organizations. They usually subcontract to a local group that escorts their races. Or you can check with the Purple Wing organization in the USA who organize many race escorts. There’s a calendar of events on their site, so you can quickly see which races are of interest to you.

tour_de_france_crashes_18

Do make sure that the organization you select will evaluate you, or even train you for the event, and always ask what the insurance issues are. Usually the organization is insured in case of an accident. If not, check your insurer if you are insured. Imagine the financial consequences of crashing into participants, with a TV camera operator with full $100,000 equipment sitting behind you.

Make sure that the organization will give you the appropriate clothing, like safety-vests.

Also make sure your bike is appropriate for escorting events. For example, they’ll never accept a motorcycle with loud pipes (for obvious reasons).

Who knows, maybe you’ll become a professional, escorting races like the Tour de France bicycle race?

Click here to access the Purple Wing web site.

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Most people when they go for a motorcycle ride end up doing 100 miles or so. Usually they commute or do day trips, traveling to a destination within a day’s reach and back. Some bikers can’t get enough saddle time, while adventure riders can go hours and many miles, often visiting foreign places.

The group of fanatics who love extreme long distances have been well documented, the Iron Butt Riders. They can go for some 1000 to 1500 miles in one day, which if you think about it, is phenomenal. Talk about saddle sore.

But these are not the records. The current Guinness World Record for the longest distance travelled in 24 hours is held by Texan L. Russell “Rusty” Vaughn. Rusty rode his Harley-Davidson Electra-Glide motorcycle during 24 hours for 2,0194 miles (that’s 3,249 kilometers)!

Rusty Vaugh   © Guinness World Records

Rusty Vaugh © Guinness World Records

2,000 miles is enormous, but almost impossible to do on the road (due to speed limitations). That’s why the attempt was performed on the Continental Tire Test Track in Texas.

Source: Guinness World Records

The longest distance on the public roads was not set in North America or Europe, but somewhere you would not expect it, namely in Oman (Middle East). There, Omar Al Mamri and 36 year old biker drove his Honda CBR 1100 from the capital of Oman, Muscat to Salalah, a distance of 640 miles (1031 kilometers) AND BACK. And this road that would not qualify a good rating since it was full of potholes.

This totalized to a trip of 2,062 kilometers (1,281 miles), averaging 94.1 kph. What makes this record even more impressive was that the temperature in the desert was between 42 and 48°C (107 – 118°F).

Source: World Record Academy

And if you are interested in knowing about all those folks who have traveled long distances on their motorcycles, how about the record holder of the longest distance traveled in one trip?

That record is held by Argentinian Emillio Scotto who in one trip took his motorcycle 457,000 miles (735,000 kilometers), traveling around the world, visiting 279 countries. It took him 10 years to do the record breaking trip, and he did it in luxury & style, riding a Honda 1100 Gold Wing.

I have to presume that Emillio didn’t set out one morning to go and buy a packet of cigarettes, returning 10 years later. During the trip (he left with only $300 in his pocket), he went through 13 big sized (64 page) passports, used up 12,500 gallons of fuel and 86 tires.

Source: Guinness World Records

So next time you go out on your motorcycle and think that the 300 miles you have traveled was much, think again.

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We’re right in the middle of world’s biggest and greatest race, one of the toughest rallies known to mankind. We’re talking about the famous, or should I same notorious, Dakar rally.

Back in 1978, Frenchman Thierry Sabine (already know for organizing the wacky Le Touquet beach race) got lost in the Libyan desert on his motorcycle while racing in the Abidjan-Nice rally. He spent many days & nights digging himself out of the sand, and thought this could be a great idea for a motorcycle race. So next year he organized a race for his friends, all amateurs, to race from Paris to Senegal’s capital, Dakar.

Trucks were required to give assistance to the weary riders, and cars also entered the rally. A legend was born, the Paris-Dakar rally.

Although even today the majority of races have finished in Dakar, it wasn’t always the route Paris to Dakar. The last time Paris was used as departure was in 2001, and even before that, 3 times Paris was avoided. The reason for that was simple; weather. The Dakar rally starts in January, and often it snows at that time in France.

The routes were different each year, and eventually Dakar was left out of the destination. With more and more terrorist activities taking place in the Northern part of Africa, eventually in 2009 the organizers, ASO (organizers a.o. of the famous bicycle race the Tour de France), decided to move the race to South America, where it is still being held today.

Cyril Depres in the 2012 Dakar

Cyril Depres in the 2012 Dakar

The motorcycle portion of the race (the rally is divided into cars, quad, trucks and motorcycles) generates the most interest from the public. And there’s a good reason for it; the efforts required to ride a motorcycle through deep sand, dunes, mountains, plaines and the feared fesh-fesh (a thin ash), often for hours on end, are practically inhuman. Riders at times don’t get to see their beds (which are small pup-tents) for days, requiring major physical efforts to dig out their bikes from the sand, repair & maintain and provide their own assistance. And all that while high speed cars and trucks blast past them, often missing them by a hair (and sometimes they do crash with deadly results – 62 people have died in the Dakar, but not all in the race, sometimes in “normal” traffic accidents).

The dream of most is just to finish the race and arrive at the final destination in one piece. Forget about winning the race, that’s left to super professionals like Cyril Despres, Marc Coma and a few others. Usually more than 50% of the entered bikes don’t arrive at their destination, some even ending their dreams in the first day.

The professionals, all riding for manufacturers’ teams, require big budgets to win. Millions are spent on the race, since it’s a showcase for the motorcycle manufacturer if they win world’s toughest race.

Dakar-1980-Vespa

Dakar-1980-Vespa

Since 2001, Austrian manufacturer KTM has won every single race. Before that, the bikes that won most races were BMW, Honda and Yamaha. But all sorts of bikes have entered the race, Moto Guzzi, Cagiva and even a Vespa scooter.

Entering the race, even as an amateur costs a lot of money, so much that some have even mortgaged their homes to be able to race. ASO figure that you need a budget of €75,000 to race as amateur.

Alpinestars Tech 8   Gaerne Balance   Tourmaster synergy

Stephane Peterhansel is by far the racer with the most victories. He won the race on a Yamaha motorcycle 6 times, and then went racing in a car, winning the Dakar 4 times. It shows how tough the race is for motorcycles, since several motorcycle winners have gone to race cars in the Dakar.

Thierry Sabine had a slogan for his race, a slogan is means something to competitors and spectators alike: “A challenge for those who go. A dream for those who stay behind.”.

Unfortunately, Thierry Sabine died in a helicopter crash during the 1986 rally. Today, the legend still lives, and millions (according to ASO statistics, 1 billion people will have seen images of the race each year) enjoy and dream of this race.

Will you be one of the next competitors?

Alpinestars Tech 8

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Winter time means that it’s going to be Christmas soon, and Christmas means that Santa Claus will be coming to visit us, hopefully. But it also means that in many parts of the world, large motorcycle parades will be held with bikers dressed as Santa Claus, or at the very least have a Santa hat on.

Santa-on-a-Harley

Usually these parades are done for charity, especially considering the fact that it’s often freezing cold, so people are more inclined to contribute money for a good cause. Most often the causes are toys for children, like the famous Toys for Tots motorcycle runs.

Korea-Santa-Claus-Scooter-Parade-2011

South Korea Santa-Claus Scooter Parade 2011

Santa parades are not only held in North America, you’ll even find them in countries were you would not think Christmas has a traditional meaning. Countries like South Korea will see large parades of motorcycle-riding-Santa. The same in Japan and other Asian countries. But of course you will also find them in Europe and South America.

But lets face it, it’s nice for Santa to go out in his sledge pulled by reindeer, but using cute animals for heavy labor can be seen as cruel to animals, while riding a motorcycle is not only cool, it is also convenient for Santa.

So if you’re able to ride in the winter, and there’s a gathering near to you, why not dress up as Santa, start up your bike, and join the parade. It’s fun, and for a good cause.

If you want to find out what is being done in your area, head on over to the Toys for Tots site. You’ll be able to search by state and then county. Not everything is motorcycle parades, but you’ll be able to help kids in need. And that is what Christmas is all about, right?

Click here to go to the Toys for Tots web site.

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Polar-Bear-Grand-Tour logoJust because it’s winter doesn’t mean it’s the end of your motorcycle riding fun. Yes, agreed, it’s not easy in snowy conditions, and it will mean you need to wrap yourself up in loads of layers of clothing, but riding in the winter can be much fun. Especially when you join a group of likeminded bikers.

One of these groups constitute the Polar Bear Grand Tour. Some 550 motorcycle riders brave the icy conditions and set out for rideouts. Often the rides have a purpose, like a children’s charity; brining toys to kids.

(c) Polar Bear Grand Tour

The rides are centered around New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Connecticut. Riders met up at a general starting point on Sundays, and from there they head on out in the cold.

Riding in the winter earns you points, as do special awards like giving blood at the blood banks. The accumulated points earn you patches you can wear with pride.

(c) Polar Bear Grand Tour

So not only do you get to ride your motorcycle in the winter, you do some good as well.

Click here to access the Polar Bear Grand Tour web site.

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This week sees one of world’s biggest and largest motorcycle exhibitions take place in Cologne, Germany. Called Intermot, this once-every-two-years event alternates with the French motorcycle expo.

The show, since that is what it really is, starts for the public on October the 3rd. Specialists recon it’s second to the Italian expo Eicma in size and visitors.

In 2010, Intermot saw some 195,000 visitors visiting the 110,000 square meters (some 131,558 square yards) of space, divided into 6 different halls. The exhibition is not a “German” event, it’s truly international. 1,106 exhibitors from 40 countries are present in this event, with large representation from Asia (particularly China), Europe and North America.

Intermot Halls Layout

2010 Exhibitor Countries

This year should be a bumper year, since most main motorcycle manufacturers will be launching many new and updated motorcycles for 2013. BMW on their home turf will be showing their best-selling and new all-round motorcycle, the GS. But in contrast with previous year’s models, this boxer engine will have liquid cooling, an enormous step for the Bavarian manufacturer.

Ducati should be splitting their new models between Intermot and Eicma (their home turf), but the internet has already leaked information on their new dual-purpose 1200 Multistrada, so it’s not going to be a surprise.

The same will apply to Kawasaki with their 300 Ninja and the ZX-6R. Information has been circulating on the web about their much expected new models. Many other manufacturers are known to have new models ready for launch; Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha and even harley-Davidson.

But it’s not only motorcycles that are shown here. Accessories, helmets and clothing are everywhere. From traditional manufacturers, to even the smallest shops in India can be seen here. Often you’ll find the latest gadgets meant for riders anywhere being exhibited.

Intermot (and their Italian counterpart, Eicma) are two exhibitions that any true motorcycle lover should visit at least once in their lifetime. A bit like a pilgrimage to Mecca, it shows what is being done in the world of motorcycles globally. A must!

Source: Intermot

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When most bikers are dreaming about riding their motorcycles but can’t because of icy or snowy road conditions, one set of bikers ride. Not only do they ride, but they race.

In a sleepy beach resort town in France, in a town called Le Touquet, once a year the town hosts a beach race for motorcycle. Called the “Le Touquet Enduropale”, the date is always the first weekend in February, typically when France is at its coldest.

Braving icy cold weather, sea and often strong winds, 1100 motorcycles start the race at the same time. 1100 motorcycles thundering along the first part of the race, a 7.5 kilometer long stretch of deep sandy beach, alternated with sea water pockets. The first biker to reach the first curve wins the holeshot, and a purse of €1500. The motorcycle reach speeds of 200 kph (120 mph) in the sand, and usually the holeshot is won by professionals who have adapted a streetbike to the deep sand. These professionals are not expected to finish the race, since their street racebikes are not meant to be able to race the rest of the circuit.

Le Touquet Enduropale Beach race start

Le Touquet Enduropale Beach race start

After the holeshot curve, there is a narrow hill which the riders need to take. Already on its own, the narrow but steep hill with very deep sand is a difficult obstacle to take, but in the first lap, you are competing with 1100 other bikers, most have never ridden in deep sand before. So the traffic jam is so enormous that when the first riders have done a complete lap of the 15 kilometers long circuit (which takes about 10-15 minutes), they often have to wait a few minutes for the traffic to clear. It’s an assured obstacle entertainment.

Le Touquet Enduropale traffic jam on the first hill

Le Touquet Enduropale traffic jam on the first hill

What makes the race the most interesting to watch are the professionals, often big names like David Knight, Cyril Despres (this year’s Dakar winner) and others, needing not to compete with all the curves, hills, jumps and other man-made obstacles, but needing to circumnavigate the Sunday riders. These Sunday riders have often never raced a motorcycle on a beach before, and since it requires a tremendous physical effort, they stop on the circuit to catch their breath, or, as often is the case, crash and fall from their bike. The professionals need to speed past these obstacles at high speeds, sidestepping a fallen rider.

The race is free to the public, and you can see some 300,000 spectators amassed alongside the dunes to see this incredible race.

Competitors and spectators come from all over the world for this race, and during the weekend the village of Le Touquet is turned into one big motorcycle party. With motorcycle shops setting up tents selling you bikerwares, to hot food and drink sold anywhere, live music blasting everywhere, it’s a bit like Sturgis, but in the winter. People pitch up their tents everywhere or just sleep in the streets.

The beach race was dreamt up by Thierry Sabine, the same person who dreamed up the famous Dakar race. For years, famous races like the Dakar and the bicycle race the Tour de France, and the Touquet Enduro were run by the same person and organization, ASO. It is only recently that the Le Touquet Enduropale is run by the French motorcycle federation.

Le Touquet Enduropale Finish

Le Touquet Enduropale Finish

The 2012 edition was won by Jean-Claude Mousse on a Yamaha.

If you are ever in Europe during the first week of February, it’s one event you would have to put in your agenda to see.

Click here to see the Le Touquet web site.

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To most motorcycle riders in the world, Sturgis is a name that is known to all. Even in the most remote places around the globe, bikers will have heard of Sturgis.

Normally throughout the year, Sturgis is a small city located in South Dakota with a population of some 6,600 souls. But once a year the city swells to 400,000 to 750,000 people; all bikers or biker wannabees.

Officially called the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the first rally was held way back in 1938, and consisted of a race with 9 participants and a very small audience.

Over the years it has become world’s largest motorcycle rally and gathering. Not only do bikers from all over the USA visit the hills of South Dakota, but bikers from almost every country in the world attend this pilgrimage.

What To Do And Where To Go During The Rally

There’s always a lot of things happening in and around Sturgis. Once you’re there, your priority will be to find a place to stay (which is something you should have done well in advance). The prime and most “in” place is at the Buffalo Chip camping grounds. It’s pretty close to Sturgis, and not only is it a full service camping ground (meaning showers, toilets), but it also has its own entertainment. Big concerts are given there, and it’s a 24 hour party field. Think of Buffalo Chip as the Woodstock of the 2000’s.

But there are obviously many other places to stay, ranging from hotels to private homes. If you’re planing to attend the event with a RV, there’s plenty of places for those as well. Best is to access the official Sturgis Motorcycle Rally site for a list of places. http://www.sturgismotorcyclerally.com/

Sturgis Main Street (c) Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

As for entertainment in Sturgis, it’s centered around 3 areas. The main gathering point is Main Street. That’s where you’ll find a lot of the bars, saloons and eating places, and where you’ll find thousands of motorcycles parked.

Walk around the streets, gawking at other bikers, and visit the many vendors installed alongside streets and alleys. Or take part in the Beer Belly Contest. At least all the beer drinking is going to pay off.

You’ll find plenty of stuff to buy, from serious motorcycle gear, to souvenirs and if you’re in the market for a tattoo, now’s the time to do it.

Concerts and live music can be found anywhere. The major camping grounds all have big concerts as do several of the big bars.

One of the main motorcycle parades is the Mayor’s Ride, with many thousands attending. The ride is a charity ride, so you’ll need to cough up some money, but the proceeds go to the Fire Department. But if you don’t want to go anywhere but still enjoy the throb of your engine, go to one of the tire burnouts. The better the burnout, the higher the applause, the bigger the chance you get to win the prize.

Another thing you can do, is get married. Of course you can get married almost anywhere, but doing it in presence of 1000’s of like minded bikers can be fun. So what better than two unforgettable events for the price of one.

If you want to try out a new bike, there’s plenty of manufacturers there offering you demo rides. You’ll also find other bikers who have the motorcycle you lust for, so strike up a conversation and find out of the bike is really hot.

Security

Whenever there are crowds, you’ll find problems; it’s a given. Sturgis is no exception, except that the security is provided by police officers from far away (Sturgis’s police force is not big) and almost all of the cops are bikers themselves. So they know what it’s all about. Unless you plan to ride through a busy street at 100 miles per hour, they’re not going to bother you. In fact, they’ll be looking at your bike, comparing it to theirs.

For the rest, remember what you do when you are in a big crowded city. Keep you belongings and valuables close to you. Lock your motorcycle, and don’t leave your helmet and other belongings on the bike. Just because you’re with other bikers doesn’t mean that someone is not honest. You’ll also find many pickpockets working the area.

One item you may not want to forget when attending Sturgis: earplugs! Noise levels can attain very high levels, almost day & night. If there’s something you’ll remember Sturgis by, it’s the constant rumble of motorcycle engines, and the smell of burning rubber. But it’s a well worth visit.

Sturgis Burnout

Sturgis Burnout (c) Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Like most popular events, things have become commercial. Although the main events are free, you will be asked to dish out money almost everywhere. But if you go to Disney, it’s the same. Remember, you’re visiting the Mecca of the motorcycle world. It’s a pilgrimage you need to do at least once in your life.

If you want to attend this mythical and magical event, the next date is August 6th to 12th 2012.

Since Sturgis 2011 is on at this moment, you can catch a glimpse using one of the several webcams installed. This will give you a great idea what to expect.

http://www.sturgismotorcyclerally.com/webcams/

http://sturgiszone.com/sturgis-web-cam/

http://www.wwolf.net/webcam/

http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/app/pages/sturgis_webcam/

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The rising fuel price has another victim. Already we as bikers have problems filling up our modest fuel tank of our motorcycles. Obviously cars and SUVs really suffer, but you can feel the pinch on your bike as well. Fuel is now about 30% more than last year. So what happens is that we ride less.

Since we’re riding less and less, it severely impacts biker events. Take last week’s Daytona Beach Bike Week. This mega event attracts thousands and thousands of bikers from all over the USA, and even from abroad.

But first of all we’re still in a recession, so money is scarce, but you also need to get there. It’s okay if you live in Florida, or Georgia, or any state close by. But if you live in New York, or heaven forbid, California, the journey is just too expensive.

The shopkeepers, restaurants and hotels have been counting their revenue, and it doesn’t look good. Bikers who attend these kind of venues tend to spend money when they are there. Not only lodging and food, but also clothing, or often they buy discounted riding gear like motorcycle helmets, motorcycle leathers, leather chaps, etc. This year, revenue for shops has dropped 20 to 40%! Though hotel bookings are normal, maybe even a bit higher, this is because reservations were made well in advance. When the reservations were made, there wasn’t any real fuel crisis. And since the bikers had paid in advance, they went there anyway, but to save money, they didn’t spend any on souvenirs. Those that hadn’t booked a hotel or camping, just didn’t go. In fact, this year saw more Europeans thanks to a lower dollar.

The Daytona Speedway also saw a significant drop in visitors. According to the organizers, they had 20% less visitors. Fewer bikers, and those that did show up for Bike Week didn’t spend the money on the races.

Obviously events such as Bike Week will not disappear. They’ll continue, since it is a main event, and still brings in much needed money. They can always hope for next year. Or maybe the Biketoberfest.

In the mean time, the biggest yard stick will be Sturgis. Many Harley Davidson fans are so loyal to the event, they would probably mortgage their house before missing Sturgis. Let’s hope it’s only a small glitch, and next year things are back to normal.

Sources:

http://www.news-journalonline.com/news/local/east-volusia/2011/03/14/bike-week-ends-results-mixed.html

http://www.cfnews13.com/article/news/2011/march/218193/Fewer-bikers-mean-fewer-dollars-spent-at-Bike-Week

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Once a year, tens of thousands of participants gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. They depart one week later, having left no trace whatsoever. Then they return home to embody the principles they learned year-round. Learn more about this incredible experience through the Burning Man Website’s First Timers’ Guide.
Event Date : Aug 30 -Sept 6 2010

Metropolis 2010 Theme

Metropolis 2010 Theme. Picture Courtesy from Burning Man

Tickets for Burning Man are now on sale. Online ticket sales end August 27th, and Box Office sales end September 2nd. Learn how to not get scammed if you’re buying a ticket from a third party, or selling your ticket.

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Women Rider

Women Rider's Month

She stands outside, wind whipping her ponytail into an unruly tangle. She grabs hold, wrapping the hair around itself and tucks carefully into her motorcycle helmet. Sliding the helmet down over her head, she adjusts the visor, secures the chin strap, and gives her leather chaps one last pull before climbing onto the leather seat. When she swings her leg over the steel beast beneath her, it is not the shoulders of another rider she grabs onto for support. Instead, she steadies herself with the handle bars, finding her usual position on the front seat and stands the bike up. Key turned on, throttle switch flipped, the bike roars to life as she expertly flips back the kickstand, eases down on the throttle, and disappears in a cloud of dust down the highway.

In an industry geared typically toward men, women riders are stepping out of the background and taking their place as the fastest growing segment on the motorcycle scene. Blazing past stereotypes of the typical biker babe, the industry is quickly catching on.

May is the second annual Women Rider’s Month. Choices for women have increased dramatically; there are more resources for women rider than ever before. Leather, helmets, even gloves and other women’s gear are more than just novelty items in a quaint section of the leather shop. More and more, these resources for women riders are designed for the function and comfort for a population of serous riders.

What draws a woman into this world of roaring machines? For many, it is the same as any other rider, the freedom of the open road and the thrill of commanding a working piece of art through the dips and valleys of the highway. The world is just a little more open to the feminine side of the motorcycle world.

Intelligent and driven, these classy chicks nurture their inner divas and carve out a special niche in the biker world. While some still prefer the passenger seat, women riders are as diverse as the rides they love. Professional women and stay-at-home moms alike share the road and blaze the way for their sisters and daughters to follow in the same tracks.

This May, celebrate the women bikers who share a piece of the open road. Cheer on the pink skull caps, the curvy leather clad rider who loves the life as much as her brethren. Slide your left hand down in an enthusiastic biker wave as they blow the cobwebs out of the baffles in a cloud of dust, and pink leather.

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This summer the Harley-Davidson Museum will offer a select group of riders and enthusiasts an exclusive opportunity to become the ultimate Harley-Davidson insider.
The Harley-Davidson Fantasy Camp is an exclusive behind-the-scenes Harley-Davidson experience, offering participants a once-in-a-lifetime chance to immerse themselves in Harley-Davidson Motor Company history, gain entry to the building where bikes are engineered, styled and tested, ride with Harley-Davidson executives, and become the ultimate Harley-Davidson insider.

From June 21-25, 2010, twenty Harley-Davidson Fantasy Campers will be immersed in Harley-Davidson history and culture as well as get to know Milwaukee, Harley-Davidson’s hometown for 107 years.

A sneak peek of what is planned:

•Enjoy VIP guided tours of the Harley-Davidson Museum including an in-depth look at the limited-access archives collection.
•Discover historic Harley-Davidson sites during a never-before-offered city tour of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
•Tour the access-restricted Willie G. Davidson Product Development Center (PDC), where motorcycle prototypes are engineered, styled and tested.
•Learn how Harley-Davidson V-Twin engines work from a Harley-Davidson University instructor.
•Bond with a Harley-Davidson Motor Company executive while riding through Milwaukee’s countryside.
•Experience must-do Milwaukee activities like enjoy a Brewer’s game from the exclusive Harley-Davidson Deck, and check out Summerfest from the private Harley-Davidson Roadhouse.
•Share daily meals with Harley-Davidson staff and other H-D Fantasy Campers.
•Chronicle the trip with plenty of opportunities for photos
The Harley-Davidson Fantasy Camp experience includes hotel, food, and transportation to all destinations – including motorcycles for the ride – and exclusive access to areas not available to the public for $3,000 per person.

To enroll in the Harley-Davidson Fantasy Camp, call the Harley-Davidson Museum Group Tours Coordinator at 414-287-2799. Registration deadline is May 31, 2010.

Company Background
Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. For more information, visit harley-davidson.com.

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The Ninth Annual Las Vegas bike fest which ran the weekend of Oct 1- 4 is now a thing of the past. But if you talked to any of those attending the event they would say they had the time of their lives!

Attendance was right on target with last years’ at about 30,000, seems like even a bad economy couldn’t put a damper on the fun.

Cashmen Center was the site of the Artistry In Iron competition where some of the hottest and most innovative bike builders from around the country gather to try to prove who is top dog.

Thunderstruck Customs made off with the top honor ‘Builder’s Choice’ award along with a $10,000 prize check. Their bike was an industrial looking red chopper with an air plane like theme.

Harley-Davidson was on hand to give demo rides on its 2010 models. This was one very popular event over the weekend.

Vegas is always the place to be and when you add in 30,000 avid motorcyclists, let’s just say what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!

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The ninth annual Las Vegas Bike fest is scheduled for Oct 1st through Oct 4 2009.

Over 40,000 motorcyclists are expected to descend on Sin City for the four day international event. The bike fest features a $100,000 Poker Run, a custom bike show, Miss and Mr. Las Vegas Bike Fest as well as vendor displays and entertainment.

The Artistry in Iron Master Builders Championship event showcases 25 of the most unique and beautiful custom bikes around. You can meet your favorite bike builders during the autograph sessions Friday and Saturday from noon until 2pm and a second session from 3 – 5pm.

Last year there were over 30,000 bikers in attendance, the expectation is that this year’s festival will top that amount.

The poker run is a 140 mile event that starts at the Sahara and will wind through the Valley of Fire State Park before heading back to the starting point.

There will also be no shortage of musical entertainment. Molly Hatchet will be appearing at the Sahara and the Johnny Cash tribute band, Cash’d Out will be performing at the Hard Rock.

Others that are scheduled to perform are: Randy Travis, Journey, and The Guess Who. AC/DC, who was scheduled to appear as part of their Black Ice World Tour, has had to postpone 6 of its dates, including the one scheduled for October 3rd at the MGM.

The Cashman Center’s Vendors Village will play host to over 250 vendors. There will be daily demo rides offered by Harley-Davidson showcasing their new 2010 models.

The bottom line is that Vegas is the place to be the first weekend in October. There is so much to do you’ll never be able to fit it all in…but think of the fun you’ll have trying!

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The 5th annual 2009 AMA International Women and Motorcycling Conference 
was held in Keystone Colorado August 19 -22. This years theme: ‘Riding to New Heights’. 

There were 1,000 avid motorcyclists in attendance. The event was sponsored by Harley
Davidson and Buell. 

The beautiful Keystone Resort and Conference Center, with the Rocky Mountains in the background, provided the perfect location for four days of training sessions, riding, seminars, riding, speeches, and yes, more riding!

Celebrating the dramatic, and continuing, increase in the number of female riders and the role they will have on the future of riding, this conference was an testament of the AMA’s dedication to representing all riders no matter what, or how you ride. 

The keynote speech by Ashley Fiolek, the defending Motorcross Association National Champion and X Games gold
medalist, who was born deaf and was the first woman to compete on the Honda racing team. 

Fiolek told of her challenges in breaking into such a male dominated sport. She stressed the importance of surrounding yourself with those who believe in you and your dreams and will support you in the pursuit of those dreams. After Fiolek’s passionate speech the crowd, many of whom were moved to tears, gave her a standing ovation. 

Throughout the 4 day event, punctuated by social events such as the Rocky Mountain Barn Dance and the International Street Party, there were many inspirational speakers such as: AMA’s President and CEO Rob
Dingman, newest member of the AMA’s board of directors Maggie McNally, Leslie Prevish the great-granddaughter of Harley-Davidson co-founder William A. Davidson, Jan Plessner Public Relations Manager for Kawasaki, and Leslie Porterfield the land-speed record holder and 2008 AMA Female Athlete of the Year. 

AMA Marketing and Special Events Manager Tigra Tsujikawa summed up the event like this: “The AMA is appreciative of all the speakers, guests and sponsors who helped make the 2009 AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference, presented by Harley-Davidson and
Buell, possible,” “We had an incredible time in Keystone, and I’m sure I speak for all the attendees when I say that I came home more optimistic about the future of
women and motorcycling than ever before.”

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Indianapolis was the place to be this past weekend, August 28-30, as Jorge Lorenzo of Spain took first place at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP.

In the last two races this season Lorenzo, crashed. This year his top two competitors, Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi took their turns and each crashed, separately, and allowed Lorenzo to cruise to a decisive victory.

Lorenzo beat second place finisher Alex de Angelis by 9.435 seconds. Nicky Hayden of the U.S. finished third.

The weather this year was a far cry from 2008 with its driving rain and high winds. This year the event had mild temperatures and overcast skies.

To celebrate his win, Lorenzo, popped a wheelie and held it all the way down the straightaway, then he jumped the fence.

Pedrosa, the favorite all weekend after the fastest run in practice on a rain slicked track on Friday and again on a dry track on Saturday, ended his run with a crash in turn 15 after losing control when he dipped too low. His bike skidded into the grass, he retrieved it and ended up finishing in 10th place.

Rossi also crashed, he too lost control on a turn, lost his bike in the grass and retrieved it. But unlike Pedrosa, Rossi didn’t finish the race. On lap 12, complaining of a problem with the throttle, Rossi parked his bike and was out of the race.

The first motorcycle rider at Indy to ever pass the 200 MPH speed was Alex de Angelis. His top speed was 201.3 mph on lap 19 on Sunday.

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The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the spot to be on August 28-30 for the 2nd annual Red Bull Indianapolis GP. This year also marks the 100 year anniversary for the IMS.

The last weekend of August will be like a dream come true for any racing fan. This event offers something for everyone. Three action packed races, a pit walkabout, question and answer session with the greatest riders in the world, a marketplace, and even a concert by Crash the band fronted by MotoGP racer James Toselands.

Defending champion Valentino Rossi along with other superstars such as: Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo, Nicky Hayden and Colin Edwards will all be there for you to see.

Friday and Saturday is ‘Motorcycles on Meridian’ During this event the street will be closed off to regular traffic. You can cruise your bike or just park it and admire all the other bikes.

Friday there is a pitwalk and motorcycle stunt riding competition in downtown Indianapolis between Pennsylvania and Meridian streets.

There will also be a live question and answer session with the riders on the 6th Street stage. Every rider will have their own time slot for answering fan’s questions. The event is scheduled from 9:45-12:30 on Friday.

On Saturday from 2-4:40p.m. there will be a Moto2 demonstration on the 2.621 mile road course. The 600cc engines of Moto2 will take the place of the 250cc final class to MotoGP beginning in 2010.

A rider gear check will be available at multiple locations during the Red Bull Indianapolis GP where visitors can safely store their gear in plastic bags and pick it up when they leave the event.

On Sunday Kevin Schwantz will take his race winning Suzuki RGV 500 on demonstration laps. The demonstration will start at 2:15pm, before the MotoGP race. This is the restored bike that Schwantz used to win the 1993 500cc World Championship. Schwanz has amassed 25 victories during his Grand Prix career.

And last, but not least, the main event: the 28 lap Moto GP race will start at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Whether you’re a motorcycle fan, a racing fan, or both, Indianapolis is the place to be the weekend of August 28-30!

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Sturgis South Dakota was the stage of the 69th annual Sturgis rally
August 3 through August 9. This years rally had an estimated 400,000 in attendance (actual numbers won’t be available until mid-September) despite some wild weather.

Severe thunderstorms and golf ball sized hail made for a tough time and caused many to leave the rally early.

Steven Tyler, lead singer of Aerosmith, fell from the stage during a concert at Buffalo Chip Campground injuring his neck, shoulder and head. The injuries weren’t serious but were bad enough to cancel the rest of the dates scheduled.

Accident rates went up 20% from 2008 and there were 5 deaths associated with the event, though none actually happened directly in Sturgis. One of those killed, motorcycle entrepreneur Bruce Rossmeyer, died in Wyoming on his way to the rally. Rossmeyer, a Harley-Davidson dealer had 15 dealerships.

Terry Anderson who has provided a place to stay for those attending the rally for the last 15 years said this is the last year. The 80 year old women will be moving to an assisted living facility and won’t be able to be a home away from home for bikers visiting Sturgis.

Injury accidents, non-injury accidents, citations, DUI’s, and drug arrests were all up over 2008 levels.

The 2009 Sturgis rally was wild as usual and this year even the weather got in on the act!

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