More Difficulties for Harley Davidson

The world’s best known bike company continues to struggle against adversity and has been dealt another blow with its long time advertising company Carmichael Lynch no longer wanting to work with them.  Carmichael Lynch have reportedly said they’ve basically exhausted their ideas to promote HD and are cutting their ties after 31 years of Harley advertising campaigns.  With sales still not recovering due to the economic circumstances, and rumors of a potential move from its home in Milwaukee to Kansas City, or further afield, to save costs, this is a critical time for Harley.

While still popular in America, where motorcycles and Harley Davidson are one and the same, there must be a significant impact internationally from Japanese and European manufacturers as the sheer numbers of bikes of all types for all abilities squeeze HD out of the market.

Price cuts in the UK have just been announced to try to stimulate interest, with £700 being cut from the Nightrod Special as one example.

The European Bike Week event taking place in Austria this week is a very successful Harley Davidson sponsored affair and is expected to attract some 100,000 bikers, with Harley bringing in Sturgis stars and others to showcase their machines.  However its hard to see a European riders swapping their Ducati road going missile for the comfort and chrome of a Harley.

HD is going to have to start thinking outside the box to turn things around.  Obviously, like every business, the recession has been very damaging, but perhaps they were a bit short sighted to cast off Buell in a rush, as there were some excellent machines due from their subsidiary which marketed right could have helped financially.  Or perhaps Harleys have reached saturation point in the market as they have been around for a hell of a long time now.  It’s always said that every biker should own a Harley at some point in their biking life, perhaps everybody has.

While it’s unlikely Harley will fail they’d better stop scaring us!


Teaser Video for the new KTM 125cc ‘Streetfighter’

KTM have released a new teaser video showing its upcoming 125, currently called the ‘Streetfighter’ under testing and construction.  It looks like a great bike and could do big things for the company globally depending on its price when it comes to market.

The market for 125cc bikes is huge but can go unnoticed in Europe and the USA amongst the sportsbikes and big cruisers.  A great looking bike with decent performance could be also be a useful incentive for more young people to take up biking, espically with the numbers walking away from it in the UK at shockingly high numbers.

Follow news on the new bike on its Facebook page at


New Harley Models for 2011

Harley Davidson may be struggling still but is fighting all the way with the announcement of new models for 2011.

Showcased a couple of months back the Sportster XR1200X now has a price tag attached coming in at $11,799.  For your money you get a fully adjustable suspension set-up, including Showa big piston forks adjustable for compression and rebound damping, and Showa nitrogen-charged piggyback shocks, also adjustable for compression and rebound.   Extra gadgetry also includes Nissin four-piston calipers stopping floating brake rotors up front.  The Sportster is powered by a fuel-injected, 1,203 cc 45-degree air-cooled mill and spanking new white paint and a blacked-out engine and exhaust distinguish the X from the standard model.

If you can find $22,499 Harley’s Road Glide Ultra has all the highlights of the Ultra Classic Electra Glide but differs in using a frame-mounted fairing for this model.  A swathe of available upgrades include a Twin Cam 103  engine (which is a 1,690 cc), touring pack, weather beating fairing lowers, 80-watt Harmon Kardon sound system for blowing your mind on the highway, and quite possibly a kitchen sink!   The Harley Davidson Smart Security System, anti-lock brakes and cruise control, are featured as standard.

The biggest news is the new Sportster variant, the XL883L SuperLow shown above, and with a price of $7,999, the 883 cc SuperLow is the lowest-priced motorcycle of the 2011 range.

Harley Daidson describes the SuperLow as;

The brand NEW 2011 Harley-Davidson Sportster SuperLow XL883L has all the new motorcycle features you want for easy handling. This easy to ride motorcycle offered at an affordable price makes this all new motorcycle one to try. The Harley SuperLow features: Sportster tank, longer travel rear suspension, low seat height, and comfortable rider cock-pit. The Sportster tank is the classic Sportster peanut tank, with a 4.5 gallon capacity. All SuperLow Sportster tanks are finished by hand and ooze authentic, premium Harley-Davidson custom style. Take the time to learn about all of the styling features and handling characteristics of the new 2011 Harley-Davidson SuperLow XL883L that make it authentic Harley-Davidson and a different riding experience from other Sportsters.

For more details on the new bikes or anything in Harley’s extensive range visit the Harley Davidson website

Specs For The Sportster XL883L SuperLow –

Length 2215 mm
Seat Height
Laden N/A
Unladen 695 mm
Ground Clearance 100 mm
Rake Steering Head N/A
Trail 145 mm
Wheelbase 1500 mm
Fuel Capacity 17 L
Oil Capacity 2.65 L
Dry Weight 251 kg
Running Order 260 kg
Luggage Capacity
Volume N/A
Weight N/A
Engine Air-cooled, Evolution®
Displacement 883 cc
Bore x Stroke 76.2 mm / 96.8 mm
Engine Torque J1349
Engine Torque 74 Nm @ 3750 rpm
Fuel System Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Compression Ratio 8.9:1
Primary Drive Chain, 34/57 ratio
Fuel Economy
Fuel Economy City 5.23 l/100km
Fuel Economy Hwy 3.92 l/100km
Gear Ratio (Overall)
1st 10.407
2nd 7.436
3rd 5.53
4th 4.583
5th 3.93
6th N/A
Front Black, Split 5-Spoke with Machined Rim
Wheel Option N/A
Rear Black, Split 5-Spoke with Machined Rim
Tire Size
Front N/A
Rear N/A
Instruments Handlebar-mounted electronic speedometer with odometer, time-of-day clock, dual tripmeter, low fuel warning light, low oil pressure light, engine diagnostics readout, LED indicator lights
Indicator Lamps High beam, neutral, low oil pressure, turn signals, engine diagnostics, low fuel warnings, low battery, security system (optional)
Brakes Dual-piston front, single-piston rear
Parking Brake N/A
Lean Angle N/A
Exhaust System Chrome, staggered shorty exhaust with dual mufflers
Vivid Black
Cool Blue Pearl
Merlot Sunglo / Vivid Black
Birch White / Sedona Orange

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The New Honda Sabre 2010

Honda is about to release its new Sabre in the U.S. shortly continuing its run of chopper-esc motorcycles such as the Fury.  The Sabre is very much styled after the Fury but hopefully won’t resort to chromed plastic as much as the Fury does (awful, just awful)  While the Sabre does look good and most likely will perform adequately given the Honda heritage it lacks the chopper soul and unique WOW! factor that comes with choppers.  If anything it’s just a little too perfect looking.

The Sabre is priced at $11,799.00 standard, and the ABS model will make your bank account $12,799.00 lighter.

Specs are below and if you pick one up let RTWW know what you think of your new ride

2010 Honda Sabre | Specifications

Model: VT1300CS / VT1300CSA ABS

Engine Type: 1312cc liquid-cooled 52° V-twin

Bore and Stroke: 89.5mm x 104.3mm

Compression ratio: 9.2:1

Valve Train: SOHC; three valves per cylinder

Induction: PGM-FI with automatic enrichment circuit, one 38mm throttle body

Ignition: Digital with 3-D mapping, two spark plugs per cylinder

Transmission: Five-speed

Final Drive: Shaft

Front: 41mm fork; 4.0 inches travel
Rear: Single shock; 3.9 inches travel

Front: Single 336mm disc with twin-piston caliper
Rear: 296mm disc with single-piston caliper; Optional ABS and CBS available in Black color only

Front: 90/90-21
Rear: 170/80-15

Wheelbase: 70.0 inches

Rake (Caster Angle): 33°

Trail: 118.0mm (4.6 inches)

Seat Height: 26.9 inches

Fuel Capacity: 4.4 gallons

Colors: Black, Candy Dark Red (ABS/CBS available in Black color only)

Curb Weight*: 659 pounds (VT1300CS) / 676 pounds (VT1300CSA ABS)

Honda’s other chopper styled bike, The Fury…

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A Bike Week for Ireland?

It’s Daytona time again for our biker friends in the USA.  Bike Week 2010 marks the 69th prestigious year for this annual motorcycle festival, known far and wide as the ‘Worlds Largest Motorcycle Event’ for its estimated 500,000 visitors who attend each year.  I’ve mentioned before in this blog that I feel here in Ireland we’re missing out.

A huge event could be a tourism boost for the Emerald Isle and go a long way to showcasing motorcycling in a good light, which would be helpful in stopping anti-bike bias from government.  Biking is still seen as a niche ‘hobby’ and a dangerous one at that.  Calls to banish bikes to the sports track, if we’re lucky, have been muttered around the halls of Strasbourg for some time now.  Biking is a legitimate form of transport, and for those who label it a hobby, I’ll agree it does have a sporting, classic heritage, and custom element, but so do cars, so why the difference?

The public still see us as trouble makers it would seem, and I’ve heard some people class us in the same grouping as ASBO badged hoodies!  A huge public event to show people the truth, fun, and camaraderie, behind biking would help us create and maintain a useful public profile, a very effective weapon in lobbying efforts to keep small-minded politicians at bay.

I’m still considering an ‘Ireland Bike Week’ and will be looking for your thoughts and opinions over the next few months.  RTWW is putting together a Facebook page to better communicate ideas such as this and it’ll be launching shortly.  So start thinking of ideas for Ireland’s Bike Week, the benefits as outlined are important but other considerations can be demonstrated with some images from Daytona;

For the Guys….

For the ladies…   (Sorry this is the most strikingly handsome biker I could find, no beer gut, neat facial hair, etc)

Northern Ireland needs more of this..

Port Dover, Ontario, on
Friday the 13th faced a terrifiying influx of bikers of all types for a regular bike meet as reported by Canadian Motorcycle Guide.

About 15,000 motorcycle riders swarmed into town on Friday in apparently unusually warm weather for mid-November and doesn't it look great!  The next Friday the 13th is in August next year were it's reported x10 more bikers are due!

The U.S. and Canda have regular huge bike events and you'll even find some decent ones in England as well, and I think Northern Ireland is missing out.  Yes bikers here gather for the big sporting events like the North West 200 but apart from some small events there's not much here that could be described as a big bash.

The question is why?  Is it something you would attend? Let us know and Ride The Wild Wind will start working in creating our own N.I. Bike Event for 2010.

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