Archive for the ‘Harley-Davidson’ Category

Vintage Motorcycle Show Will Be June 7

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

by Matt Wessels

The Vintage movement is in full force and old motorcycles are finding their way back to daylight and backroads in record numbers. This year will mark the 5th annual Vintage Motorcycle Show in Golden, Colorado.

Heritage Square will host the event one last time before they close their doors at the end of 2015, and all of their facilities will be operational for the show. Those facilities include bathrooms, restaurants, and a bar.

Erico Motorsports, GrandPrix Motorsports Indian and Foothills Triumph/BMW will be there showcasing some of the factory retro motos. Last year they had a half-million dollar Vincent show up, by the name of the Black Prince. It might make a re-appearance at this year’s show.

The show (Sunday, June 7) is open to anybody with a vintage motorcycle following the structure of a controlled open floor. To enter, respond to the evite and drop a comment so that Bob can get an idea of how many bikes there will be. Being a part of the show is just as free as attending it. They are taking donations for Hospice care, so bring some stray bills to support a good cause!

Much like the show being a celebration of all that was good and right in the motorcycle world, the Hospice donations are a celebration of good people who make it their life’s work to increase the quality of life for those who can not completely provide it for themselves. The idea was started when a friend was immensely impressed with the Hospice workers who take care of his mom, and wanted to give back.

The VJMC is also giving back by footing the bill for the event and wants all motorcycles from all backgrounds, manufacturers, and styles to attend. This isn’t a profitable endeavor, this is simply two enthusiasts who want to bring like-minded people together and celebrate good bikes, good food, good talk, and good experiences.

If you missed the link up above, go HERE to register for attendance. IT’S FREE!

For any other questions or comments, please reach out to Bob @

Many of the same folks meet at the GB Fish and Chips on the first Thursday of every month for Old Bike Night. There are a few other Old Bike Night meetups around the front range area, but not all necessarily connected with this one.

Want To Get Paid To Ride A Harley In Europe?

Monday, March 2nd, 2015
Harley rider wanted

Somebody's in for a heck of good time.

You know this is going to be a long shot, but hey, someone has to win, right? Might be you.

Alan passed this along to me. Seems Harley-Davidson is having a contest where the winner gets to ride a Harley they provide through Europe for two months, all expenses paid. They want you to tell everyone about your ride and at the end they’ll give you 25,000 euros and you get to keep the bike. How totally sweet would that be?

And yeah, like I said, your chances of being picked, or mine, are pretty dang slim but you cannot win if you do not play.

Here’s a bit of what H-D has to say about your entry:

Sounds good doesn’t it?

Think you’ve got what it takes? Send your application to and tell us:

  • A bit about yourself and why you want the job
  • The dream ride you’d like to do in Europe
  • Your passion for motorcycle riding
  • What makes you the right candidate

A great way to tell us your story is to upload a short video online (send us the YouTube link) that tells us exactly why you are the best person for the job, but how you submit your application is completely up to you! Just remember to also share links to your social media profiles with your submission.

If you’re interested you have until March 20 to get your entry in. Of course they want you to promote the whole thing on your social media venues. It’s all about advertising, and doing so pretty inexpensively. That’s how things work these days. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.

Biker Quote for Today

I don’t always ride my Harley, but when I do I take my tools and cellphone.

Riding the Electric Harley

Thursday, September 18th, 2014
Ken On Harley Livewire

Taking the Livewire for a stationary ride before getting out on the road on one.

I was really annoyed when I found that registration was closed for demo rides on the prototype electric Harley-Davidson LiveWire. I had gotten an email inviting me to come see it and ride it and I had replied asking if I needed to do anything or just show up. I guess it was a mass email, though they did a good job of making it seem personal, and I got no reply. So doing a quick check before heading over to Mile High Harley-Davidson I spotted a link to register and clicked it. Registration was closed. Rats.

OK, I figured, I still want to see the bike, and they say you can do a stationary demo even if you can’t go for an actual ride. Plus, it might be that some folks who registered will fail to show up and I can still get a ride. So I went on over.

I walked up and a woman asked me if I had a reservation. I said no and she immediately asked if I’d like to be put on the waiting list. You bet. She said check back in 20 minutes.

In the meantime, I got all the paperwork done and took a spin on the stationary bike they had set up with rollers. It was a real bike and it really ran, you just didn’t go anywhere. It was a good introduction to how the bike works so they wouldn’t have to explain all that when you were getting ready to actually ride. And they shot your picture and emailed it to you. That’s me up above.

At the appointed time I checked back and they had a bike available, but there was one guy ahead of me on the list. She went searching for him but couldn’t find him so I was in. Run grab my helmet off my bike.

We got the usual demo lecture and they walked us through start and getting ready. You have two modes to ride in, Range Ride and Power Ride, the first getting better miles out of a charge in the battery, the second giving you more power (read: fun). I chose Power Ride.

One thing they made absolutely clear was that “This bike accelerates and brakes unlike any other bike you’ve ever ridden.” I’ve ridden electric bikes built by Zero so the acceleration part was not true for me, but the braking part was. I’ll come back to that in a moment.

We pulled out. The ride leader was determined to let us see how these puppies ran so he set a quick pace. Of course there are no gears to shift, you just twist the throttle. Acceleration was hard and smooth. (I’d been told earlier that the bike will go 0 to 60 in four seconds.) And there wasn’t a bit of the Harley “potato-potato” rumble. You did hear the drive belt.

Handling was great. This is a sportbike with that sort of agility and that sort of riding position. Not a tight, cramped position, but rather, a comfortable one. With your feet below you, not out in front. That’s how I like it.

One thing made it totally clear that these are prototypes and that is the mirrors. Yes, in order to be street legal they had to have mirrors but I had to look for them. It turned out they are below the handlebars and were totally hidden by my hands. Worthless. Even once I found them I couldn’t see a thing in them. Heck, I almost couldn’t see them.

And then there’s the brake. Pretty much all electric bikes use regenerative braking in order to extend the battery range. This uses the turning of the motor or wheels in braking to generate power that is fed back into the battery.

Well, Harley has carried it to the max. When you want to stop on the LiveWire you just release the throttle. The bike stops quickly. But 99% of the time you stop without ever touching the brake; you just taper off on the throttle till you get to where you actually want to stop completely. Then maybe you use the brake. Maybe. Or maybe you use the brake then to keep from rolling. They did suggest that you tap the brakes once to let the person behind you know you’re stopping.

So how did I like it overall? I liked it. It was fun. It was fast, it handled well, and it’s a motorcycle. What’s not to like?

Will I buy one if Harley builds them for sale. I’ve never been a Harley guy and I’ve never wanted any Harley I’ve ever seen. If they build this thing it will be the first Harley I’ve ever even considered buying. But they’ve got a long road to go to get the range up to where they’re competitive with other electric bikes out there, and the price would have to be reasonable.

But if they do bring it out, will I want one? Yes.

Biker Quote for Today

If you want a motorcycle just because of the way it sounds, do yourself (and us) a favor and find a different hobby please.

Interested in Motorcycle Art?

Thursday, March 6th, 2014
David Uhl--A Milwaukee Morning

David Uhl's "A Milwaukee Morning"

I’m doing this as a favor to my wife’s niece but if you’re interested it might be a favor to you, too.

The school Mindy’s kids go to is holding an online art auction to raise money for . . . I don’t know, she didn’t say. Schools always need money, right?

So one of the offerings–or maybe there’s two copies offered, not clear on that either–is a picture done by renowned motorcycle artist David Uhl. You can go to his website to see what he’s all about. I guess the guy has been around quite awhile and is pretty successful. I think you’ll like some of his stuff that you can see on the site.

The photo in the auction is the one pictured above. I deliberately took a screen grab from search results because of course the picture is copyrighted and I’m hoping it’s OK for me to use it in this manner so that prospective buyers can see what it is they’re being asked to bid on. Hey David, if you don’t like it let me know and I’ll take the image down. Just trying to be helpful here. The point is, they don’t have an image on the auction site, so who’s going to bid on something like this sight unseen.

This particular picture is one Uhl did at Harley’s request for their 100th anniversary. Mindy says that “They are really nicely framed and will likely go for around $400-500 but retail at ~$2000 from what I see on the website. (I think that is unframed.)” So if you’re a fan of Uhl then this could be your chance to get a real bargain. Plus, right at this moment, probably at least in part because there’s no image to show prospective bidders what it is, there are no bids on the piece.

In case you can’t make out what it is, it’s a crated Harley getting loaded onto a horse-drawn wagon to be delivered somewhere. Here’s what Uhl’s site says of the picture.

There is a symbolism to this work; the warm light of the factory spills out onto the fresh snow on the street. The early dawn seems silent, but this is just the beginning. New crated motorcycles are being loaded onto a horse-drawn flatbed wagon, and America has no idea yet that these powerful machines will become the symbol of freedom and independence that they are today. The horses appear slightly impatient; ready to get this show on the road!

OK. I hope it sells and someone gets a really good deal, while the school makes some money.

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Biker Quote for Today

On a perpetual dirty road tour in the land of Hicks and Nothing…

No Fun Riding Alone?

Monday, October 14th, 2013
Harley For Sale

The Harley in question.

A fellow down the street has been riding a Harley for, I don’t know, a year? Maybe two. But now the bike is for sale. Wonder why?

So we were out for a walk Saturday and one of the guys living in this house was out on the porch smoking. “Why are you selling the Harley?” I asked. I don’t know these guys, I don’t know who owns it, but I figured this was sufficient to kick off a discussion. It did.

“It’s my buddy’s. Yeah, it’s for sale.”


“He’s got no one to ride with. It’s no fun riding alone.”

And we continued walking.

Wow. No fun riding alone. That is so wrong, and such a sad reason to quit riding.

OK, so first, this is a young single guy and his idea of having a motorcycle is probably to go for an occasional cruise with a bunch of friends and hit a few bars. I can see how that doesn’t work if you don’t have someone to ride with. It’s not about the riding, it’s about the socializing.

So does he really not care about the actual riding? Because if he does it’s not that hard to find people to ride with, and then to make friends with others who ride. First off, there are plenty of organized rides he could go to. And then there are clubs. After all, the guy has a Harley–all he would have to do is go on some of the rides by the HOG group sponsored by the dealer he bought the bike from. He’d meet plenty of other riders there. Lots of socializing.

But you know me, I have to take exception to the whole idea that riding alone is no fun. Sure, I like riding with friends, but when you get down to it, I probably enjoy riding alone the best. People think of freedom when they think of motorcycles and there is no freedom like being on your own. You go where you want to go, stop when you want to stop, do whatever it is you–you–want to do.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve been riding with the OFMC and I’ve seen something I wanted to stop for but didn’t because I didn’t want to interrupt the ride. The more people in your group the longer it takes to get rolling again. And then I have regretted again and again not having stopped. No, riding with the guys has its pluses but it definitely has its minuses as well.

I could ramble on and on with this particular topic but I won’t. If you never ride alone, maybe you should try it. Isn’t simply riding the bike fun?

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Biker Quote for Today

To ride or not to ride? That is a stupid question.

They Gave My KLR to Someone Else!

Monday, June 17th, 2013
Motorcycle Roadeo

A motorcycle roadeo followed the actual riding of this year's Randy Run.

Can you believe it? I showed up at the Frontier Club Saturday for the party and games that followed ABATE‘s Randy Run, and even bought a fourth ticket in the raffle, but the KLR 650 I had planned on taking home was given to someone else! That bike was mine! Some guy named Rod Sommerall (sp?) from Highlands Ranch. And he wasn’t even there to ride the bike home.

Actually, the raffle was a little anticlimactic because none of the three winners were present. Second and third place prizes were a Garmin GPS unit and a bluetooth communicator set. You didn’t have to be present to win. But it just lacked in impact when they called these three names and nobody stepped forward.

Figuring to make up for that a little, one of the guys in the band stepped up and called for the t-shirt he had donated to the silent auction. It was one of those typical Harley-Davidson dealership t-shirts, except this one said Kandahar Harley-Davidson, Afghanistan. I have no idea if there is a Kandahar H-D dealership but there is definitely a shirt.

So the band guy announced that they would keep pulling tickets out of the hopper until someone who was actually there won that shirt. It took several more draws but someone did finally win it.

Overall sales of the raffle tickets was disappointing for ABATE, although they did make a profit. A maximum of 2,500 tickets had been set but when I spoke with ABATE State Coordinator Terry Howard before the drawing she told me they had sold fewer than 1,000. That may have changed, however, as tickets were selling like crazy before the drawing. But I’m sure it was still nothing close to 2,500.

Apparently, though, this raffle was just a toe in the water, and immediately after the raffle a new raffle began and this time the top prize is a Harley. ABATE will have to sell a lot more tickets to break even on a bike that expensive but you have to suspect there will be a lot more people interested. I’ll pass along details and a link on that once they are available. But I don’t think I’ll buy any tickets for this raffle. I really wanted the KLR.

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Biker Quote for Today

You know you’re a biker if your ol’ lady can only eat a hot dog if it’s suspended from a string above your bike.

A Chance to Jump Start Your Motojournalism Career

Monday, March 11th, 2013
motorcycles on the wharf

Being a motojournalist definitely has its plussses. I shot this photo while on a media tour with EagleRider.

I’m working a full-time job these days so I rarely check craigslist any more for writing gigs. I did go there a couple days ago, however, and the first item on the list caught my eye in a hurry. Here’s what it said.

Looking for a motorcycle rider who writes articles (Remote)

We are a motorcycle company looking for an article writer. We sell motorcycle parts for Cruiser Motorcycles, focused on Harley. This position can be long term and done remotely.

Articles will be created approx 2-4x a week.


*Must have motorcycle riding experience
*Please submit a resume
*Writing Sample
*Students are welcome to apply
*Blog URL optional but is a plus

it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: $15 Article, 500 Words

OK, $15 per article is not a lot of money but heck, if it’s something you enjoy doing and you want to see your name out there then it’s a place to start. If you know how to write you can bang out 500 words in half an hour and that would give you a $30/hour wage.

I’m not a good one to do this sort of thing for the simple reason that they want someone who is into Harleys and that is not me. And after 40 years of writing for publication I don’t get excited about seeing my name in print any more. But maybe you are, or someone you know is. If so, and you want to give it a shot, go for it. You’ve got nothing to lose.

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Biker Quote for Today

“Yea, though I ride through the valley of the shadow of the Harley, I will fear no R.U.B.: For my FZ6 art with me; thy power, thy speed and thy handling they comfort me.” — Metrics 23:4

Another One Bites the (Harley) Dust

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Something over 20 years ago the OFMC started out with three guys on two Hondas and a Yamaha. My, how times have changed.

John's new Harley on the dealership floor.

John's new Harley on the dealership floor.

A much larger group now, we got an email from John a couple days ago with pictures of his new Harley. As John noted, on our upcoming summer trip there will now be six Harleys, two Hondas, and one Kawasaki.

John was the one on the Yamaha–a Virago–in the beginning. It was just a few years later that he bought a Honda Shadow and he rode that for 19 years. The Virago went to his son, Johnathon, who only rode it a few years before buying his own Honda VTX.

Bill started out on a Honda Shadow but it has been a number of years now since he gave that to his son, Jason, and bought a Harley. That one got stolen so he bought another, and after a couple years Bill decided he was ready for a change. So he sold that Harley to his brother, Friggs, and got a new Harley.

Friggs had been on a newer Virago that was his first bike, but when Bill made him an offer he couldn’t refuse he became a Harley owner.

Dennis was riding a Gold Wing when he joined the OFMC, but after a few years he traded it on a Harley. Does anyone see a trend developing here?

Johnathon’s friend, Randy, joined the group, and like Johnathon he rides a VTX. And Jason’s friend Brett joined, mounted on a Harley.

Which leaves only me. I was the second of the original members on a Honda, my CB750 Custom, which I still have and still take on the trip occasionally. But in 1999 I bought a new Kawasaki Concours and that is still my preferred ride. No, I will not be getting a Harley any time soon. I probably won’t ever be getting one. That’s just not my kind of bike. But hey, if those guys want one, good for them. There comes a time when it’s time to stop putting things off. As John said recently, “The rainy days we’ve been saving for are here. It’s time to spend some of that money.”

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Biker Quote for Today

Bikes are better than women because you don’t have to pay child support/alimony to an ex-motorcycle.

Freedom H-D Changes Hands, Now Avalanche H-D

Monday, March 5th, 2012

I’m sure there are others who already knew this, but I just found out yesterday that Freedom Harley-Davidson is no more. Under new ownership, the company is now called Avalanche Harley-Davidson, although at least for the time being the URL for their website is still

Freedom Harley-Davidson

Good-bye to the eagle?

According to a report in the Denver Business Journal, owner and founder Ken Allen sold the dealership he established at 8000 W. Colfax to Michael Veracka, who is a partner at several other Harley dealerships around the country, including Grand Rapids H-D in Michigan and Rawhide H-D in Olathe, KS.

Although I don’t ride a Harley, my emotional connection to Freedom H-D goes way, way back. About 25 years ago, before I even owned a motorcycle, I was editor of the Sentinel newspapers in the suburbs north of Denver. We were always receiving gifts and various schwag from businesses hoping to get some free publicity out of it. As editor I got to pick and choose what I wanted and would distribute the rest to my staff.

One day a package arrived and it contained a T-shirt from Freedom H-D in connection with a poker run or something else they were sponsoring. I didn’t have a bike but I had always wanted one, ever since I was a kid. And in fact it was just a very short time later that I did buy my first bike, my 1980 Honda CB750 Custom that I still own and ride.

Anyway, I kept that shirt. And I wore it a lot, until it was finally shot full of holes had to go in the rag bag. So I’ve always felt a bit of connection to that dealership that I have never felt to the others.

Now time marches on and there’s a new owner and new name. I just have to wonder, though, why they changed the name. It seems like you’d be hard put to find a better name than Freedom. Just makes me wonder.

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Biker Quote for Today

Hot women come and go, but a beautiful bike stays with you long after you sell it.

Why I’ll Never Own an Electra Glide

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Judy on the Electra Glide Classic

I told my friends that Judy and I were going on vacation in British Columbia and would be renting a Harley Electra Glide Classic with full passenger accommodations and they said Judy would like it so much she’d probably buy me one when we got home. I said that would be unfortunate because I don’t want that kind of bike and now after having ridden it for two days I’m really, really clear I don’t want one. Plus, Judy doesn’t want one either. She says they’re too loud. She did like the passenger accommodations, however, and this particular one was in her color, as you can see in the photo above.

The Glide was fine on the highway, no question about that. It was slower speeds where I grew to hate it. First off, it’s very heavy. Very heavy. Maneuvering in parking lots was hard and in heavy traffic, filtering onto the bridge that crosses from North Vancouver into downtown Vancouver, it was absolutely the worst. In our parking garage in Whistler the floor is smooth and slippery, the turns are numerous and tight, and winding through there was horrible. I mentioned all this to the EagleRider guy when I turned the bike in and he agreed, saying that while it’s a good highway bike he would hate to ride it in the city.

Well, you know, I do a lot of my riding in the city. I’m not going to own a bike just for the highway, and even when you travel you still end up going through towns.

Nope, no Electra Glide in my future. Thank goodness.

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Biker Quote for Today

Never lend a friend your Pacific Coast. Unless you like scratches and want a beer annuity.