Wednesday, January 6, 2016

New Year = New Stuff!!

The year 2016 is officially here (and winter along with it for the time being), and with it all new possibilities as well as new stuff. This year really does feel different - with personal technology (think GoPro Cameras & Fit Bits) gaining by leaps and bounds - I think there's a lot of things that'll be changed by the end of this year. So let's get right into it:

First up is Riding Jackets with brake & turn signal lights built into it. Those of us
who ride are always playing the game "Can You See Me Now?" with cagers, so any technology that helps us be seen is always a good thing. At first glance in order for these jackets to work, it looks as if you have to install something on your bike for the lights to link up. I'm sure as this technology becomes more widespread Harley-Davidson will integrate this into their riding jackets. For now you can check out Speed Society - New Technology, Ryde Bright, and this YouTube video

Next is a 'Reverse Trike' kit. Many of Harley-Davidson's core customers will tell me, "One day I'm going to get a Trike!" Do to time passing and injuries, at some point they may not be able to hold up the 900+ pound touring bikes that we have all become found of. But that's not going to stop us from riding!! Enter trike conversion kits that will take your current Harley from two to three wheels. Then in 2009 Harley came out with their factory Tri-Glide Ultra Classic (FLHTCUTG < that's what we call Harley's alphabet soup) which is built in York, PA. These are traditional trikes with one front wheel and two rear wheels. In 2007 Can-Am introduced it's Spyder - with two front wheels and one rear wheel. A lot of us feel like these are just snowmobiles with wheels since they handle about the same. But the recurring theme between all three is the same: the vehicle does not lean in the curves. When you're riding through the "twisties", leaning your bike one way, then the next, it's just too much fun (this is why bikers LOVE the Tail of the Dragon!). 

Welcome Tilting Motor Works into the picture. They've designed a 'Reverse
Trike Kit' which allows the bike to actually lean through the curves and yet still be a three wheeled trike. The company is based in Washington State, so I only have Charles Fleming's test ride to go from (read his review in the LA Times here) - but still I must say the conversion does look interesting!

Last, but certainly not least, Harley-Davidson is extending their 'Heroes Ride Free' program to all First Responders (law enforcement, EMS & firefighters) as well as to our U.S. Military men and women. This is in effort to thank all those who fight for us and help to protect us, day in & day out. All current and former U.S. Military and First Responders can learn to ride for FREE with Harley-Davidson Riding Academy. 

Now my dad always used to tell me, "There isn't one thing in this life for free. Somewhere, someone has got to pay." But in this case, with the Heroes Ride Free program, I can assure you that it really is free to those who qualify. Harley-Davidson is picking up the tab for you to take the Basic Riders Course which, as long as you pass, will get you that "M" endorsement on your driver's license (and you may even get a discount on your auto insurance - the BRC makes you a better cager too!). Click on Heroes Ride Free for more info, or head on over to your local Harley-Davidson dealership.  

With that I whole-heartedly welcome 2016!! It looks to be an exciting year with lots of good stuff happening.