Author: Rob Brooks

Christmas 2020 Reflections

What a year this has been. Unlike anything most of us have ever lived through before. A pandemic that resulted in national and worldwide shutdowns, and it’s rebounding as we near the end of the year; a crazy, toxic election that has left many Americans deeply divided and resentful of each other; riots, wildfires, quarantining, isolation, separation, virtual meetings and Zoom calls. And now a stimulus bill that scatters American wealth to the four winds yet tosses bread crumbs to struggling families and businesses. Oh, and did I mention “murder hornets” and Joro spiders?
We all could use a little “peace on earth, goodwill to men” this Christmas.

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Health Benefits of Motorcycling

An old motorcycling adage asserts, “You’ll never see a motorcycle parked outside a psychiatrist’s office”, and medical science has proven it true. In a neurobiological study conducted by a team of researchers at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and funded by Harley-Davidson, it was found that motorcycling “increased metrics of focus and attention, and decreased relative levels of cortisol, a hormonal marker of stress.” Of course, we riders already knew this in general principle, but now the science bears it out.

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Harley-Davidson To Reveal 2021 Models Virtually

Throughout Harley-Davidson’s 118-year history, the brand has never before brought the entire world together to experience the debut of all-new Harley-Davidson® motorcycles. On Jan.19th, 2021, that all changes with a single virtual event. During “H-D 21”, the company’s first virtual launch experience, Harley-Davidson will announce new 2021 motorcycles, parts and accessories, riding gear and apparel.

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Triumph Launches 2021 “Sneak Peek Tour”

The all-new Trident 660 and Tiger 850 Sport have begun making their first public debuts at Triumph dealerships across the United States. For a limited time, these two new models will be on display for customers to get a first-hand look at the bikes. Two pairs of each bike, which are the only units currently anywhere outside of Europe, will make stops at select dealerships around the country. While test rides are not yet offered, riders are encouraged to visit dealerships to see the bikes in person before they become available for sale in US dealerships.

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IMS Outdoors Announces 2021 Dates

With the announcement back in September that the IMS would retool their annual traveling show to more interactive outdoor events in 2021, our hopes were buoyed that we might get a second glance from the show’s planners. Going outdoors, especially in this age of COVID-19, can be a real boon to the industry and the riding community, with the potential for more manufacturers, more vendors, and more fans to attend. Actual demo rides rather than just straddling new models in a booth space, as well as outdoor concerts, food areas, stunt shows, etc., can give the outdoor concept a new excitement.

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Biker Good Will

Recently, I participated in a motorcycle benefit ride sponsored by a couple of local motorcycle clubs, the Wingmen of Northeast Georgia, and the ROF (Ring Of Fire) RC. These rugged bikers have a soft heart for supporting needy children, and for the last six years have organized this ride together to raise funds and supply toys for Christmas gifts in Barrow County, Georgia. After meeting several members of both clubs at a local Bike Night, they invited me to come join them, and I welcomed the opportunity. I’m glad I did, as I got quite the blessing out of it myself, as I witnessed the results of their endeavor and beheld the looks in their eyes as they bought their offerings to a local fire station for drop off.

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Yamaha Thins The Herd For 2021

I read the Yamaha press release over the Thanksgiving weekend here in the States, after digesting prodigious amounts of turkey and dressing with relatives. Amidst the looming food coma, I discerned that most of the announcement pertained to new color schemes, upgrades, and accessory packages for their 2021 lineup of models. But buried deep in the memo were several sentences regarding the cessation of four models, two of which have become legendary in the Yamaha universe- the R6 sport bike, and the VMAX power cruiser. Also missing next year will be the WR250R dual sport and the SMAX scooter. The announcement about the R6 and the VMAX particularly saddened me, and while I was surprised by one, I suppose I could see the other coming.

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The Rebirth of BSA

English news outlet The Guardian published a story this week about the coming revival of an iconic British motorcycle brand, BSA. Anand Mahindra, Chairman of the Mankind Group conglomerate, announced his plan to “resurrect the British motorcycle industry” by relaunching BSA Motorcycles Company, not in India, but in the UK.

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Harley-Davidson Withdraws From Factory Racing

Harley-Davidson has always been a brand associated with racing, in many forms. Whether road or dirt, drag strip or hill climb, and everything in between, at some time in their long history, Harley has raced it all. Over the years, the Motor Company has sponsored and supported official factory race teams, partnering with AMA, NHRA, AFT among others. In recent years, that scope has narrowed to NHRA and American Flat Track (AFT), yet with great success- the Harley team partnered with Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines, and has won 107 races and 10 championships in NHRA Motorcycle Drag Racing, and their factory Harley-Davidson flat track teams have won numerous AFT races and even the 2020 Production Twins championship this season.

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