Tag Archives: coolcycledude

2015 Indian Chief Classic’s first 200 mile trip!

This is going be a continuing series about how my 2015 Indian Chief Classic performs and my experience of owning it. I’m not going to bullshit you about anything about this motorcycle. I don’t work for Indian. I’m just another motorcycle consumer like you. If something sucks, you’re going know about it. I’ll deal with facts, figures and my opinion.

Last Sunday, I rode with the Lilac Village War Lords. Nope, not true, sorry. Sounds pretty cool, though, say it with me “Lilac Village War Lords.” The truth is I rode with the Jersey Pine Cruisers. The Jersey Pine Cruiser’s home base is in Mount Prospect Illinois.We rode into the fine state of Wisconsin around the Lake Geneva area.

Okay back on track! I need to have the pre-load adjusted on the rear shock. I’ve got a feeling that motorcycle comes from the factory for someone south of 200 pounds. Well, guess what, I’m north of 200 pounds. So during the ride, my spinal cord got adjusted, a few times. I’m hoping that there’s going to be aftermarket air-shock available soon.

It was a 90 degree day. Good day to see if that big V-twin gets hot between my legs. Guess what? It does! But, it seems to be concentrated on the right side. I saw that coming, not a big deal. Just the nature of the beast. If you want a cooler running engine, then get one that’s water-cooled. I will say this, my old Harley-Davidson 2012 Softail Deluxe would roast both legs, medium well!

The transmission works like a charm. No bouncing back and forth from first to second trying to find neutral. My 2014 Harley Davidson Road King on occasion likes to play “find neutral if you can.” No sponge gears either! What’s a sponge gear? Let’s use my 2014 Moto Guzzi California Touring as an example. Sometimes when I down-shift, it feels like I’m stepping on a sponge. There’s some resistance, but nothing happens. When I feel the “sponge gear” coming on, I up-shift and then down-shift again. It’s all good. It adds some spice to my life.

The engine develops a lot of useful torque. I find myself lazily going through the gears. There have been times when I should have down-shifted, but I didn’t. The engine doesn’t complain by the usual methods. It’s almost like you only need the transmission to get the motorcycle moving. After that, it’s pretty much like an automatic with a few adjustments now and then.

I really don’t feel this motorcycle is drag strip material. It’s new and I haven’t put it through its paces yet, but you can tell. I’m good with that, too. I’m going to guess it’s all about the mass your trying to propel. Send this motorcycle to Weight Watchers for a few months and you’ll have different story to tell.

I can set my helmet on the seat with the engine running. If I try the same feat with my Road King, Ultra Limited or the Moto Guzzi I’d be picking up my helmet off of the ground in seconds. Engine vibrations are kept under control. So if you’re dead set on shaking handlebars, mirrors, floorboards and fuel tanks you’re out of luck.

I read that some people complained about the distance from the handgrips to the levers. I have a normal size hand and didn’t have a problem operating the levers. By normal, I mean I am unable to palm a basketball. The brakes have a really good feel to them. It would appear they provide more than enough stopping power.

I guess my brain is starting to attenuate out the engine noise. It just doesn’t bother me anymore… nor does the rattling coming from the fuel tank area that I once heard in the distant past.

Victory’s 2014 Cross Roads Classic

Victory’s 2014 Cross Roads Classic is solid bagger in a crowded market segment. All of the other motorcycle manufacturers have one or multiple entries in this arena. I get the whole bagger business because every motorcycle that I own has bags on it. I guess I just can’t leave home without taking a lot of stuff with me. This might be related to age, because back in the day, I never brought anything with me when I rode a motorcycle.

This motorcycle is equipped with the Freedom 106 V-twin engine. The displacement is a little north of 1700 cc. This is Victory’s bread and butter prime mover for all of their models. The engine relies on air and oil cooling to keep engine heat at bay. The engine uses a wet sump configuration to store the oil. There’s an oil cooler mounted in lower front of the engine. It’s mounted right between the two frame down tubes.

Four valves are used to move the air, fuel and exhaust for combustion in each cylinder. Most of the vibration is absorbed through the rotating counter balance system inside the engine. The electronic fuel injection worked without a hiccup. Very linear engine control though changes to handgrip position. No surprises or dead spots during my demo ride.

The six speed overdrive constant mesh gearbox worked like champ. No whining, clunking or other weird sounds emanating from the gearbox. The primary drive is a gear. No chains or belts on this baby. The rear wheel is driven by a belt. A belt drive system has become standard issue on this type motorcycle throughout the different manufacturers.

 

I didn’t make it to the sixth or the overdrive gear during the demo ride. I’m pretty sure everything still would have been groovy if I shifted the transmission into 6th gear. During the demo, I didn’t have to hunt for neutral. That’s one of things that really pisses me off! No toe-heal-shifter! This type of motorcycle should come standard with a toe-heal-shifter.

The front suspension is an inverted cartridge telescopic fork with 5.1 inches of travel. The rear suspension is a single mono-tube gas shock with 4.7 inches of travel. The front suspension in not adjustable, what you see is what you get. I’m pretty sure the rear suspension has a pre-load adjustment. Either way the suspension did a good job soaking up the bumps in the road.

There are two disk brakes on the front wheel and one disk brake on the rear wheel. The ABS is optional on this model. The model that I rode was enhanced with ABS. No way to turn it off either in case you’re one of the people who doesn’t need or like ABS controlled brakes. Me, I’m a big fan of ABS used to decelerate a motorcycle I’m driving. I felt a little pulsing on the foot brake during hard braking. Otherwise, the brakes did their job during the whole demo ride.

The brake rotors are 300mm all the way around. There are 4-piston calipers in the front. The rear brake has a 2-piston caliper. The overall length of the motorcycle is 104 inches. This is a long motorcycle! A 2015 Harley Davidson Road King has an overall length of about 97 inches. The Victory Cross Road Classic is a good seven inches longer than Harley Davidson’s Road King.

This motorcycle is equipped a 5.8 gallon fuel tank. That should get well over 200 miles down the road. The dry weight of this motorcycle is around 780 pounds. So I’m going guess the “wet” weight is around 810 pounds. Why do manufactures provide you with the dry weight? Do they think you’re going to ship it from place to place instead of riding it? Duh!!

The seat height is about 26 inches from the ground. So it falls right in line with similar models from different manufacturers. When you change the oil, you’ll need five quarts instead of four. The color scheme of the motorcycle I rode was a Two-Tone Bronze Mist & Khaki. I’m not completely sure, but I think that’s your only choice. It grows on you over time. Sort of, I guess.

There are four things that I don’t like about this motorcycle. The speedometer is one of them. Don’t get me wrong, the speedometer functions like a charm, providing you with speed, gear position, engine RPM and all of the usual idiot lights. It’s just doesn’t “POP.” It looks like just some add-on device to the design of the motorcycle.

I’d like give you an example of speedometer that “POPS”: The Harley-Davidson V-Rod has such a device. The V-Rod’s speedometer looks like piece of art. The speedometer is actually incorporated in to the design of the motorcycle. It enhances the look of the motorcycle. Not just something that has been added at the last moment during the design phase.

I’m going to throw this out there. It seems to me Victory motorcycles are designed for tall people. Let me rephrase this, people with long arms. The seat height falls in line with that of other cruiser manufacturers. So inseam-challenged people should be okay. It’s just turning the handlebars from one stop position to the other requires long arms. I’m talking about blocking a jump shot long.

What’s up with the cruise control buttons? You’re going to need a really long thumb to work them without removing you hand from the handgrip. Also, they’re a little bit on the “cheesy” side. While I’m bitching, I think white wall tires would have been a nice addition to the overall look of the motorcycles.

What did I like about this motorcycle? I’m going to start with the floorboards. There’s plenty of room to move your feet around. Ride a motorcycle for few hours and you’ll understand how cool that is. The engine, it’s bullet-proof. I’m pretty sure in produces less vibration than its competition. Just change the oil and maybe it could go on forever. The seat was very comfortable during my 40-minute demo ride. As I recall, it was the stock seat. Sometime on demo rides they install upgraded seats on the motorcycles.

Even though this motorcycle is on “long” side, pushing into the turns builds confidence. Don’t try dropping your knee into the turns! The floorboards will quickly remind you of what type of motorcycle you’re on. The transmission is a true asset on this motorcycle. No battling for neutral or shifting into “ghost” gears. Throttle response is on the money. There were no delays or abrupt operation during the demo ride.

The big question is would I buy one? The answer is “Hell Yeah!”

Under the category of “this blows big time”: Victory has decided to remove this motorcycle from their 2015 line up. I’m hoping this is a temporary discussion on their part. They have knocked off five models total in 2015. It must be a cold cruel world in the motorcycle business to have to cut five models of their lineup.

My Moto Guzzi is Well!

I picked up my Moto Guzzi from the dealer last Saturday night and rode it for a couple hours. My two hour ride was to make sure everything was groovy. There was no charge for the repairs because my Moto Guzzi was still under warranty. The warranty period ends in June 2015. So I guess I just made it under the wire. I was very glad to see my mechanical friend again after a painful 6.5 week separation.

When I got home I popped open the garage door and rode my motorcycle into its assigned parking spot on a rubber mat. Put the kickstand down and turn the ignition off. Walked over to where a flashlight is a plugged into an electrical outlet to keep it charged. Grabbed the flashlight and walked over to the Moto Guzzi and inspected it for any type of oil leak. After my careful inspection I didn’t see any type of leak and I noticed that the dealer did a really good job of cleaning up the oil mess on my motorcycle.

I rode it for about eight hours the next day Sunday and again inspected the motorcycle for leaks when I brought it into the garage again. Everything was groovy, no leaks. I got pelted with a little bit of rain during my ride today because I forgot to put my rain suit in one of the saddlebags. For some reason I remembered to pack all my tools and supplies for any possible road mishap. But no rain gear! I think I’m going to develop some type of personal checklist to make sure my motorcycles are ready for anything that the road throws at it. Yep, that’s going to happen!

Okay, how am I going to rate my first issue with my Moto Guzzi motorcycle. To be perfectly honest, I’m not very happy about the 6.5 weeks to make the repair. Second thing in the hopper is that I’m not very happy about the response from the home office. I made several calls to the home office without a single response. This is the first time that I’ve ever called the home office of a motorcycle manufacturer, so I don’t know what kind of response I would’ve gotten from the others and have no data to make a comparison.

One of the reasons that it took 6.5 weeks to make the repair was the availability of parts. This would seem excessive except this is relatively a brand-new model for Moto Guzzi. I did a little research and found out that this is a problem regardless of manufacturer. Also, Moto Guzzi does not produce the same amount of motorcycles as other manufacturers. This fact has a lot to do with the availability of repair parts.

To make matters worse, the Piaggio computer system was experiencing difficulties due to a migration of data into the servers. Piaggio is the parent company of Moto Guzzi. Thinking rationally now, this could possibly be a reason that none of my phone calls were returned from the home office. I’m pretty sure the computer system is tied in with customer service.

Okay, what was wrong with my Moto Guzzi? There are two breather hoses connected to each cylinder head which connects to a Y-tube. The Y-tube connects to another device which returns the oil back to the crankcase. The connection parts on the right cylinder sitting on the bike had failed. Also, the Y-tube developed a crack and was leaking oil that was supposed to be returned to the crankcase. If you have a Moto Guzzi that is similar to mine, you might want to have the dealer inspect the breather system.

I’d like to thank Windy City Triumph in St. Charles Illinois for their communication skills, cleaning my motorcycle and making the repairs in a timely fashion once they had received the parts.

Wear your helmet! I don’t want you to get hurt. I need as many people as possible to read my blogs. As far as I can tell, dead people don’t read blogs. Be safe!

2014 Harley Davidson Ultra Limited: How Mine Got It’s Road Mojo

I think the motorcycle gods are out to get me. The kickstand on my 2014 Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited failed. This failure immediately exposed my motorcycle to the effects of gravity. Down my motorcycle went at 9.8 meters per second per second. It came to an abrupt halt when both the front and the rear crash bars hit the ground. Very minor damage to the crash bars, just a little scuffing, no bending.

New bolt for the kickstand.
New bolt for the kickstand.

You might not know this but back in the day, I had the capability to bench press 375 pounds not bad for someone who weighed 210 pounds. So for some strange reason, I thought I still have the capability to bench press 375 pounds and tried lifting the Ultra Limited by myself. I quickly remembered that I’m three clicks away from 60 years old and my 375 pound bench pressing days were 37 years behind me. So apparently I am a near 60 years old weakling.

Good thing a couple of “youts” saw me trying to “clean and jerk” my motorcycle.  The three “youts” walked up to me and asked me if I needed some help. I immediately said, “I sure do.” At this point, my pride had been completely eroded away. Together the four of us lifted my Ultra Limited into its normal operating position. I offered them some money for their help. I told them they could “buy some beers with the money.” They looked at me and smiled. They were probably thinking, “Why does this old dude want to get us drunk?”

So when your kickstand fails on your Harley Davidson where do you go for repairs? Well, I went to the Indian dealer down the road. Yep, the Indian dealer! I remembered the Indian dealership’s location from all of the demo rides I participated in last year. I rolled up to the Indian dealer’s service garage door and asked for some help. The service manager walks up to me and asks “What’s up.” I tell him my sad story about the kickstand. I ‘m thinking I’m going to catch some shit about bringing a downed Harley Davidson motorcycle into an Indian motorcycle dealership.

That doesn’t happen. All of the sudden, three Indian dealership employees are whirling around the bottom of my Ultra Limited with tools. I felt like a stock car driver at a pit stop.  One of my pit crew members shows me a strip bolt head that was used to hold the locking mechanism on my kickstand. Another member of my pit crew tells me “we might have one of the bolts lying around.”  He digs through the “bolt bin,” but no such luck. Again, the motorcycle gods show their displeasure with me.

I also remember that there’s a Harley-Davidson dealer roughly 10 miles south of the Indian dealership and begin my journey. I tried to pay the service staff at the Indian dealership, but they wouldn’t have it. I’m not sure, but if I would’ve had the title for my Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited on me, I might have driven away on an Indian Chieftain. Damn you, Willy G! Damn you!

I called the Harley-Davidson dealer on my smart phone and told them of my plight. They informed me not to use the kickstand and they would put me at the front of the service line. I thought to myself “cool!” I backed my wounded Ultra Limited out of the service bay and off I went. As I was heading to the Harley-Davidson dealer, I still couldn’t believe that the Indian dudes had an opportunity to let me have it and they were really cool about the whole situation.

As I rolled up to the Harley-Davidson dealership service garage door, I beeped the horn as instructed. A couple of guys immediately came out and asked me if I was the guy with the kickstand problem. I informed them that, yes, I’m the one. The other guy slides a small scissors jack and jacks up my motorcycle so they could look to see what the kickstand problem was. The guy looking at the kickstand looks up at me and tells me, “Yep, the bolt holding the kickstand in the locking mechanism had sheared off.”

Then he proceeds to tell me ”this is the first time he’s seen this type of failure in the kickstand.” He pulls the kickstand off takes it to the back where he can remove the broken bolt with an easy out. A few minutes later, he’s got a brand-new bolt and the kickstand in his hand. He reinstalls the whole assembly test it to make sure it works. He lowers a scissors jack and puts weight on the kickstand wiggling my motorcycle around during the test procedure. He then tells me, “It’s all good now.”

The service manager walks up to me and tells me that he’s going to try to get Harley-Davidson to pay for a new front crash bar and rear crash bar. I thought to myself, “I don’t think I want the crash bars changed now that my motorcycle has some ‘Road Mojo’ and I have a story to tell.”

I’d like to thank American Heritage Motorcycles which is the Indian dealer. They are located at 474 Redington Drive in South Elgin IL  60177. They can be reached by phone at 888-627-2340. Also, I’d Iike to thank Fox River Harley Davidson. They are located at 131 S Randall Rd, St Charles, IL 60174. The can be reached by phone at 630-584-8000.

Ride your motorcycle and be safe!

My Moto Guzzi is Sick!

I guess I may have pulled my Moto Guzzi out a little bit early this year. The very first ride of the season! Usually I take the Goldwing out on the first ride of the season.  The Goldwing is the flagship of my motorcycle fleet. It’s tradition to ride that motorcycle out first. But this year I decided to switch it up. Plus the fact the Goldwing battery is still on the charger. I must be slipping, I had all winter to put it on the charger, but I waited until the last minute. I think my brain is starting to fail me.

I pulled the Moto Guzzi out of garage and fired him or her up. I’m still not into determining the sex or naming my motorcycles yet. I wonder what that says about me. No time to psychoanalyze myself now. I rounded up all of my tools and supplies that I carry with me on motorcycle rides. I like to be prepared, must be the Boy Scout in me.

I know what you’re thinking. What does coolcycledude carry on a motorcycle ride? Okay, here goes:

An air compressor

Two flashlights

Tire repair kit, plug type and that squirt in stuff.

Toolkit Harley Davidson

Toolkit Metric

Pressure Gauge

Wire ties

Wire

Tape

LED road flares

Jumper cables

Rain gear

A second pair of gloves

A light long-sleeve shirt

An extra pair of socks

First aid kit

Two towels

Water

Okay, back on track. I packed the Moto Guzzi up and did the finial walk around to make sure everything is “groovy.”  I throw my leg over and drop my butt in the seat.  Lifted the kickstand up, pull in the clutch, tap the gearlever down and off I went.  Yeah, first ride of summer! Good bye winter! Looked at the speedometer and the temperature display is reading 39 degrees. Okay, not quite summer yet.

Yep, not quite summer yet so I turned on the heated grips. Nice! I had about an hour ride to meet the group that I was riding with that day. I arrived at the my destination parked the Moto Guzzi . Took one more walk around the motorcycle.  Walk over to the group and introduced myself. First time riding with this group! You’ve got to get out of your comfort zone and meet new motorcycle people. That’s one of my life rules.

One of the guys from the group had brought pecan rolls for everyone. That was pretty cool. We all started the motorcycle chit-chat for about twenty minutes. Then the destination, route and safety protocol was discussed.  Everyone mounted up and off we went.  About an hour later we arrived at restaurant that had a train car incorporated in it. What in the hell else would you do with an old train car?

After eating lunch we went outside for a photo-shoot. Then we proceeded towards our motorcycles.  I put all my gear on and again walk around my motorcycle.  On the left of my Moto Guzzi there was a small puddle of oil. WTF! There was oil on the engine casing and the saddle bag. Double WTF!! Yep, my Moto Guzzi is sick, damn! I pulled out the smart phone and looked for the nearest Moto Guzzi dealer.

I fired up the Moto Guzzi to see how bad the leak was. It looked like it was seeping out of the cylinder head. The air traveling through the cooling fins must spread oil on the engine casing and the saddle bag. Okay, cool, not the end of world. The nearest dealer was about eight miles away. Now I need to make a decision, do or die time. Will it make it to the dealer before losing its life blood? After several moments of deep thought I came to this conclusion. It better!  So off I went.

Once I hit the dealer which happens to be Harley Davidson dealer that sells Moto Guzzi motorcycles. I just can’t keep my ass out of a Harley Davidson dealerships. I parked my Moto Guzzi near the service garage door. Got off and went to look for the Moto Guzzi doctor. Found the service writer dude and he tells me “The Triumph guy won’t be in until midweek.” “Okaaaay” I’m thinking.  Before I had the chance to say anything else he proceeds to tell me” he also works on Moto Guzzi motorcycles too.”

So my Moto Guzzi motorcycle is at a Harley Davidson dealership wait for “Triumph guy” to fix it. Does anyone else see how the forces of the universe are working against me?

Harley Davidson Livewire

I got a chance to sort of test ride the Harley Davidson’s Livewire electric motorcycle. I attended the Chicago International Motorcycle Show back in February. In the Harley Davidson area they had the Livewire mounted in a contraption that let the rear wheel spin freely, but kept everything else in check. Very similar to what Harley Davidson does with their internal combustion power motorcycles at the show.

I have ridden the Zero electric motorcycle several on occasions. So this isn’t my first rodeo with electric motorcycle. Right of the bat the Livewire looks “cool.” The Livewire looks compact and sleek. It’s on the small side. If you have long legs I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be groovy for you. The seat is also on the small side too. The seat is set back a little so you’re leaning forward to reach the low mounted bars.

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Under the heading of way cool the grips, front brake lever and control buttons are standard Harley Davidson issue. These provide a great feel or transition from Harley Davidson internal combustion models. The speedometer looks like an IPhone on steroids. Probably a great platform for displaying more data for the rider to see as the Livewire progresses through time. It looks like the Livewire has LED lighting front and rear.

DSC_0318

If you never been on an electric motorcycle the first thing you’ll learn is about torque in action. From the very first rotation of electric motor shaft about 95 % of the maximum torque in generated. An internal combustion engine on the other hand needs RPMs to generate torque. That’s why an internal combustion engine on a motorcycle requires transmission.

DSC_0320

Once you have turned the throttle on Harley Davidson Livewire all hell breaks loose. The high pitched whine of the electric motor replaces the one-potato two-potato sound. I was surprised how linear the throttle control felt. The guy run the display told me “go ahead and crank the throttle.” So, I did. The motorcycle leaped like a cheetah launching itself after prey on the African plain. The force caused the front forks to compress and backend lift up.

Now remember the Livewire was mounted in a contraption that let the rear wheel spin freely. So the motorcycle was unable accelerate which would have absorb the energy transmitted to the rear wheel. The suspension and the roller that rear wheel sat on absorbed the energy. Either way the Harley Davidson Livewire seam pretty damn powerful.

I’m hopeful the Livewire demo truck will make it to my part of woods this summer. If it does you know my butt will be waiting in line to ride one.

2014 KTM 1290 Super Duke R

Yep, I’m riding something other than a Harley-Davidson. I don’t know where to start talking about this motorcycle. I don’t usually ride these types of motorcycles. How about this “It’s Fucking fast.” Yep, that pretty much sums it up.  So if you don’t read any farther, you definitely know that this motorcycle is no toy.  This motorcycle has the capability to test your riding skills within seconds of you ride it, so beware.  Oh, one other thing I hope you like the color orange.

Okay, I’m going to throw this out there. KTM what’s up with the ORANGE? Every single KTM motorcycle has some orange in the paint scheme. Did KTM buy a whole bunch of ORANGE paint on sale? Is it part of the manufactures branding? As Jerry Seinfeld might say, “What’s the deal with the ORANGE paint?” Sorry about rant!

This is probably one of the most powerful motorcycles I have ever ridden. I owned a 2010 Yamaha Vmax and I thought that motorcycle was fast. But I’m pretty sure the KTM would beat the Vmax in a foot race. The Vmax might run the table from 0 to 60 MPH, but after that it’s all KTM. The KTM has about 156 HP at the rear wheel and weighs about 240 LBS less.  If you do the acceleration math, I’m pretty sure I’m right.

The KTM Super Duke 1290 R has my favorite engine configuration, the V-twin.  This engine displaces approximately 1300ccs as the pistons fly up and down. Fuel, air and exhaust move through the two cylinders via 8 valves doing a high-speed dance. The valves are controlled by two chain-driven overhead cams. Engine heat is removed through a liquid cooling system. The rev limiter puts a stop to everything around 10,000 RPM.  That’s probably a good thing. This engine has three oil pumps to keep everything lubricated.

The 6-speed gearbox worked like a charm. Although, I never made to the sixth gear during the demo ride. The engine produces tons of torque so there’s no big rush to get through the gearbox.  Neutral was easy to find when needed.  I wish the gear position lever was a little bit longer. The clutch is hydraulically assisted which translated to a light pull at the lever. The engine has an advanced type of slipper clutch.

This engine bangs out 152 HP @ 9250 RPM at the rear wheel.  The torque produced 93 lb-ft @ 8300 RPM.  That’s a lot torque for a 1300 cc engine. For a comparison, the Indian 111 Power Stroke engine produces a torque of 101 lb-ft  @ 2700 RPM.  The Indian engine has 28% displacement lead over the KTM’s engine. KTM has reduced piston weight to improve power gain during acceleration. I was on this motorcycle for 45 minutes and I didn’t feel any excessive heat from the engine.

The oil cooler is mounted on the right side of the engine. Kind of a cool idea, connected directly to the front cylinder lower half. No hose, brackets or a radiator mounted to the frame front down tubes. If you weren’t paying attention, you’d miss it.  It’s out of the way from coming in contact with your leg or foot.

The engine is controlled by a ride-by-wire throttle system. This motorcycle is loaded with electronic control systems. This motorcycle come equipped MTC (Motorcycle Traction Control.) There are three modes of operation. Yep, you’ve got to make a choice on the mode. Your choices are street, sport and rain. Each mode controls the amount of HP delivered to the rear wheel. Also, if that wasn’t enough, it also senses your lean angle. Yep, your lean angle! This added feature will help keep you from sliding across pavement just behind your motorcycle. If you’re old school you can turn off the MTC and put an end to this “electronic trickery.”

I’m not a big fan sport or naked motorcycles. They seem way too cramped to me. The KTM has a lot room and I didn’t feel cramped. I guess I could use the word “spacious” to describe the experience while I was sitting in the seat. I remember thinking to myself while riding this motorcycle, “Man if I put some beach bars and floorboards on this baby, I’d be all good then.” Good thing I’m not designing motorcycles for KTM.

The speedometer / information center is easy to read while riding the motorcycle. In the center is a very cool analog tachometer. To left of the tachometer is text screen. The text screen provides you with lot of data. This would include riding mode, ABS setting, engine temperature and few other things. The displayed information on the text screen and the settings for the “electronic trickery” is controlled by four buttons. The four triangle buttons are located on in front of the left handgrip. Very easy to reach with your thumb. To the right of tachometer is a digital speedometer. One thing you’ll notice right away with the speedometer is how quickly the values change.

Brembo calipers are installed all the way around.  The front caliper has four pistons and the rear caliper has two. The front disk brakes 320 mm and the rear disk brake is 240 mm. The ABS system is the latest design from Bosch. The ABS can be set to either street or supermoto mode. I’m going to take “knowledge leap” about riding this motorcycle in supermoto mode. I’m guessing it will let you lose traction on the rear wheel through a sliding turn. If you’re one of those people who likes to say “I don’t need no stinking ABS,” you’re in luck, because you turn the ABS completely off.

The Super Duke R weighed in at about 445 pounds with all the fluids. The seat height is damn close to 33 inches. Not for the inseam challenged. The wheel base is around 58 inches. This is one of the reasons why this motorcycle felt very stable. The fuel tank holds 4.8 gallons.   This should give you about a 200 mile range before running out of fuel. Front and rear tires are 17 inch.

This motorcycle is equipped with a single swing-arm to keep the weight down. The rear wheel is driven by a chain. Yep, there’s another method to cause the rear wheel to rotate besides a shaft or a carbon fiber belt. The rims are casted. The rims are manufactured using a low-pressure die casting process to reduce unsprung weight. There’s a lot of technology incorporated in this motorcycle.

The suspension is fully adjustable. The front forks are inverted with pretty much standard protocol for these types of motorcycles.  The rebound and compression damping on the front forks can be set separately and independently from each other. Same goes for the rear shock, plus you get two speed settings for the compression damping. All of this information is above my pay grade. I’m just looking for a soft ride which is what I got during the demo ride.

Another thing I sometimes dislike about these types of motorcycles is the fact that I can’t use the mirrors. Generally you can’t see behind you, but you do get a good look at your shoulders. But everything was groovy, I could see behind me. Probably a really good thing because you will be able to see the police cars chasing you… although it will probably be from a distance. Oh, yeah, that day will come too, don’t kid yourself. What do they say “absolute power corrupts?”

Would I like to own one of these motorcycles? Yes, hell yes. Would I be able retain my privilege to drive in the state of Illinois if I owned this motorcycle? Nope, I would end up riding the bus for about 5 to 10 years. If you have self-control, this may be the motorcycle for you. Go to your nearest KTM dealer and check it

ZROCK

ZROCK is an online radio station for motorcycle enthusiasts across the USA. And ZROCK plays some of the best rock music you’ll ever hear, stretching from the ’60s to now! ZROCK is all about motorcycle rider lifestyles and anything to do with motorcycles.

Plus there’s unique reports from motorcycle events throughout the USA and globally. Get daily reports from the road of the CROSS EGYPT CHALLENGE, SCMA’s 3 FLAGS CLASSIC and others.

Through-out the day you’ll hear:

AMERICAN BIKER MINUTE with Jeff Ryan – Our coverage is comprehensive, including all aspects of riding, and branded machines.

PAUL SHAFFER’S DAY IN ROCK – This segment illustrates the daily history of rock according to long-time David Letterman musical director and sidekick Paul Shaffer.

MOTORCYCLE EVENTS – Michael Town (AKA The Hound Dog) sniffs out the latest events from Motorcycle Clubs throughout the USA.

SIX SECOND REVIEWS – What can you do with six seconds?  Mr. MovieFone answers that question with Six Second Reviews!

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New 2015 Moto Guzzi Motorcycles

Moto Guzzi is bringing several new models to the marketplace for 2015. I guess if Moto Guzzi wants to be a world player like they were back in the day, they’ve got to pick up the pace. I own a 2014 California 1400 Touring and I believe it’s a very competitive product. I’m not just saying that because I own one. If it was a piece of crap, I’d let you know without hesitation. I’m the guy who has never been employee of the month, if you get my drift.

I’m going to be upfront here. I was little leery about buying a Moto Guzzi. I kept hearing the same thing over and over again. If you’re not a motorcycle mechanic, a Moto Guzzi motorcycle will make you one. I’m not a motorcycle mechanic, nor do I have time to wrench a motorcycle.  I’m the dude who buys warranties and knows the names of people who run the service departments at the motorcycle shops. That’s how I roll!

The 2015 California 1400 Touring S.E. is a variation of their California 1400 Touring platform. This motorcycle is all decked out with a two-tone paint job. This is going to sound odd, but I was never a fan of two-tone paint jobs. But for some reason, as I get older, two-tone paint jobs are starting to appeal to me. I actually use the word “cool” when I see a two-tone paint job now.

The Touring SE comes with a built-in passenger backrest and grab handles around the back of the seat. States in the USA are passing laws requiring “grab rails” around the passenger seat for safety. I hope there’s a rack accessory to attach to passenger backrest.  Moto Guzzi is definitely looking to capture some of the bagger buy frenzy.

 

The 2015 Moto Guzzi Eldorado is a variation of their California 1400 custom platform.  Moto Guzzi is going for the nostalgic look with this motorcycle. This motorcycle is equipped with chrome spoke rims and whitewall tires. The whitewall tires really highlight the chrome spoke rims. I hate cleaning white wall tires, but they do enhance the look of any motorcycle.

The handlebars are high and rolled back. Give the rider an upright riding position. The rear taillight is round and protrudes from the rear fender. The turn signals are installed at the bottom of the rear fender. This setup provides a purposeful and cool non-techno look. The rear shocks are also throwbacks from the old days. The springs on the shocks are covered just like they were in the Fifties.

This motorcycle has pin striping graphics on the on the fenders and tank. Also, there’s some cool graphics on both side covers. The cylinder heads are blacked-out instead of polished aluminum. The speedometer housing is all chromed up and centered between the handlebar base

 

The 2015 Moto Guzzi Audace is going for the drag bike look and is using the California 1400 custom platform. The floor boards have been replaced with foot pegs. You can’t have floor boards on a drag bike! Also, no passenger seat on this baby either. I have no idea why the passenger pegs are still there. Starting to get the picture here?

The front forks are brand new and different from the other two models. The oil cooler is wrapper in some type of housing to give the motorcycle a “badass look.” The handlebars are pull-back Tee bars. There doesn’t seem to be any chrome on this motorcycle. Okay, cool, I guess. The exhaust system has been modified to provide a more aggressive look.

Moto Guzzi has also added a scrambler version of one of their models. The scrambler stuff seems to be the rage nowadays. I don’t get this whole scrambler business, but I guess the “Youths” like it.

2015 Indian Scout

I guess I’ll start off with this statement. This is a great motorcycle, not perfect, but great. Essentially this is an entry-level motorcycle for the Indian brand. This motorcycle is a very important component for the survival of the Indian brand motorcycle. This is what I would consider as a gateway vehicle. But if you look at it closely, the bits and pieces are by no means “entry-level.” I really think Indian/Polaris will make an impact with this product.

The Leather Couch
The Leather Couch

The 2015 Indian Scout will definitely end up slowing down the assembly lines for Yamaha’s Bolt and Harley Davison’s Sportster motorcycles. Indian is also incorporating the same boots on the ground strategy that Harley-Davidson has been using for years. I’m referring to the demo trucks showing up to the dealers’ locations in providing individuals the opportunity to ride their products.

Nice Logo!
Nice Logo!

I’m still somewhat confused that Honda and Kawasaki still think they’re in the retail business. I also think Honda and Kawasaki better be careful. One day they’ll be sold on Amazon and lost in the flood of books, food processors, video games and so forth.

Nice Clock
Nice Clock

I guess if you haven’t figured it out yet I am somewhat enamored with this motorcycle. There are a few cheap bits here and there, but the total package is really unbelievable. Just sitting on the motorcycle creates a sense of emotional need. Putting your butt in the solo retro leather seat will generate a smile on a rider’s face. It’s just not a seat, it’s kind of a one-person leather couch.

Let’s start with the engine. It’s a liquid cooled 60° V-twin that is nicely packaged in the frame. The engine is actually one of the stress members in the frame system.  I really like the frame design and how it goes around the radiator. The engine looks very industrial to me, almost reminds me of one of KTM’s engines. It does have some chrome parts, polished parts and blacked out parts. The engine is also well branded so there’s no confusion who manufactures the motorcycle. The chrome bits are well-positioned to bring your eyes at the right longitude and latitude to view the engine.

The Engine
The Engine!

The plumbing is minimal on the engine so not to interrupt the flow of the design. The valves bounce around using a double overhead cam system. Four valves per cylinder are instrumental in moving air through the engine keeping it aspirated. The cams are driven by a chain. No pushrods clicking away or belts flopping around inside the engine.

Not too much plumbing
Not too much plumbing

The displacement of the engine is 69 cubic inches or 1133 cc. The engine has a very throaty sound being generated out of the exhaust pipes. The exhaust system is completely chromed front to back and really looks nice on the motorcycle. From the brochure, the engine produces about 100 HP at 8100 RPMs. The peak torque is around 72 foot-pounds at 5900 RPMs. The transmission is a six-speed and never missed a beat. Nor did I have any problems finding neutral.

The front forks have approximately 4.7 inches of travel with no adjustment capability. The two rear shocks appear to have a preload adjustment with approximately 3 inches of travel. I did have one bone jarring incident that was transferred from the road to me. I definitely don’t think the suspension to system is designed for someone weighing over 200 pounds. Don’t plan on doing any two-up long distance riding on this motorcycle.

Each wheel is equipped with a 298 mm rotor. The front caliper has two pistons and the rear caliper is one piston. I would’ve liked to seen two pistons also in the rear caliper. I’m going to guess that a lot of beginning riders will choose this motorcycle for its coolness, weight and seat height. I think those noob riders would best be served with more de- acceleration capability. And let’s not forget the addition of an ABS system in the future.

Only One Disk  On The Front Wheel!
Only One Disk On The Front Wheel!

The rims are casted. But still have a pretty cool design. Chromed spokes and rims would have been nice. But I’m sure Indian needs to meet a certain price point. The front and rear tires are both 16 inches. Each tire has the Indian logo on it. Taking a page from Harley-Davidson’s play book?

The second thing you’ll notice after looking at the engine is the seat. The seat is aesthetically pleasing and a very effective butt holder. I rode the Indian Scout twice and spent approximately 50 minutes in the seat. I could’ve easily gone hours sitting on that seat. The one downside is there is no seat for your significant other. That might make it a tough sell to get it in your garage.

I was a little bit surprised that Indian didn’t incorporate some type of seat for a passenger. Because I can think of several other very cool motorcycles that went the way of the dinosaur with the same strategy. But I’m sure the marketing and the research department at Indian/Polaris spent hours upon hours determining not to incorporate a passenger seat in their selling strategy.

Okay what was the Indian scout like to ride.

One thing I can say right off the bat is this motorcycle had a sport bike feel to it. The engine was quick to rev up and provided plenty of power for any shenanigans that you deem necessary. The engine produces max horsepower at approximately 8000 RPM which is pretty high for a cruiser motorcycle. During my ride I decided to wind it out in second gear. At the higher end of the rpm range I felt considerable vibration from the handlebars. Don’t fret, this rpm range was way beyond what you would normally run in second gear.

I felt very confident pushing this motorcycle hard into the turns it seemed like a very stable platform. I didn’t feel any flexing in the front forks or behaviors emulating from the back of the motorcycle. The handlebars provide plenty of leverage to control the motorcycle. This is an extremely comfortable motorcycle. I foresee people taking this motorcycle on some long trips.

The only obstacle would be the size of the gas tank. The gas tank is approximately 3.3 gallons giving the motorcycle limited range. I definitely wouldn’t attempt riding for an extended period of time unless the rear shocks were changed.

Would I buy this motorcycle? No, I’m used to bigger motorcycles with more amenities. I see this motorcycle as a gateway product to get customers on Indian’s larger motorcycles. Also incorporating this motorcycle into the line is a good strategy to develop brand loyalty. This might be a good fit for someone who is thinking transition from the sport bike into cruiser. Like I mentioned earlier, the engine generates a sport bike feeling to the riding experience.