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Archive for the ‘Women Clubs’ Category

Jessi Combs:  July 27, 1980 – August 27, 2019

Sadly, television personality and professional driver Jessi Combs died Tuesday in Oregon trying to break a land speed record in a jet car.  She was 39.

Jessi Combs was born in the Black Hills of Rapid City, SD. and had a lifelong desire to become a race car driver.  She was a fearless young lady.

She was on the dry lake bed of the Alvord Desert pursuing a land speed record in the North American Eagle (jet-powered vehicle) on August, 27th 2019 on the dry lake bed.  The details of the crash have not been released at this time.

North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger

Land speed records have been set or attempted in the past on the dried lake bed of the Alvord Desert.  The Alvord Desert is located in Harney County, in southeastern Oregon.  It is roughly southeast of Steens Mountain.

In 2013, Jessi Combs broke the four-wheeled women’s land speed record there at a speed of nearly 393 mph in her 52,000-horsepower, 56-foot-long,  North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger — a reconfigured F-104 jet — on the 13-mile course. Then, in 2016, Combs broke 440 mph and was dubbed the fastest woman on four wheels.

In 2018, during a shakedown run, she set a new record of 483.227 mph.  Unfortunately, a panel fell off the car and dangled at 488 mph until part of it broke off and went into the intake on the left side.  There wasn’t a lot of damage, but enough where they had to pack up the pits and take it back to the shop in order to fix the first 2 turbine blade levels.

The group’s stated goal was to break the land speed record of 763 mph, which was set on Nevada’s Black Rock Desert in 1997.

Jessi was an icon in the industry, and my thoughts are with her family and loved ones.

Photos courtesy Jessi Combs Instagram and website

All Rights Reserved (C) Northwest Harley Blog

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Advert in 2012 – Nothing can replace the real one. Use original Harley-Davidson parts.

Halloween’s coming, and with it “mischief night”—which means it’s the season for pranks.  And being on a Friday night this year means egged houses and toilet-papered trees are the order of the day for the mischievous.

Did you know that Harley-Davidson has been pulling clever pranks for years?  All with the intent of snagging the attention of often-distracted online observers/customers.

This phenomenon, has a name now—“prankvertising”—which has really ramped up in recent years, perhaps because of Halloween or maybe because agencies like doing the unorthodox and testing consumer limits.

The photo with this blog post is an in your face example that mashes all the politically incorrect buttons.  Some would debate it provides confirmation of how completely out of touch Harley-Davidson is or was in deploying this image as a visual ‘joke.’

Is the motorcycle culture’ a petri dish of people who know so little about human social interaction and how professional life works that advertising agencies can concoct up this stuff straight-faced, thinking there are no consequences?

I’m sure some of you will view this as demeaning, insulting and extremely sexist. Harley-Davidson on the other hand and their agency (Big), didn’t think they were objectifying or exploiting women in this ad or even blink by portraying women and comparing them to a motorcycle part, and picturing them as sex toys.

Full Disclosure:  My initial reaction when I first saw the ad and tag line, “Nothing can replace the real one. Use original Harley-Davidson parts,” was to laugh out loud and marvel at the clever humor, but then political correctness kicked in and I made a note that advertising agencies should really realize their responsibility towards society and their target audience.  Given Harley-Davidson’s significant outreach to the woman demographic for motorcycle sales it’s highly unlikely you’ll see something like this again.

Photo courtesy of Harley-Davidson and Big, İstanbul, Turkey

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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New Data Reveals Female Motorcycle Riders Feel Happier, More Confident and Sexier Than Women Who Don't Ride

Female Riders Feel Happier, More Confident and Sexier Than Women Who Don’t Ride

It’s so classically Glamour and just in time for the New Year.

I’m talking about women and self-help books.  No, not the help of how to install a thermostat or how to assemble furniture, but that elusive key to finding happiness.

You see, Harley-Davidson commissioned a study and miraculously the results indicate that women who ride their own motorcycles are noticeably happier – in life, in relationships, and even in the bedroom – than women who don’t ride.

Seems self serving don’t you think?  But, let’s remember for a minute that all humans are somewhat self-obsessed, and if you think I’m writing this is about you, don’t take it personal.

Most men I know just want a gal that can apply makeup without an automobile mirror and be capable of leaving the house on 5 minutes’ notice.  I’m not a psychologist and haven’t a clue on the details of the study, but I wonder what was it about their persistent low self-esteem: how did it get that way? Were they awkward growing up? Not quick or witty enough?  Once they gained a shred of confidence, did they seek out companions they knew would make them feel inadequate? Why? Do they think they’re a narcissist? Or just a weak person?

Well guess what? We’re all different.  We’re a collection of experiences. We’re all special, which is precisely what makes us so un-special.  And if you harbor lingering dissatisfaction with yourself, figuring out what it is might be a pretty good way to start coming to terms with self-improvement.

But, that’s my $0.02.  

Let’s look to the Harley-Davidson “Help Desk” – and their study – of how women can jumpstart their journey to a more fulfilling life.

Conducted by Kelton (and commissioned by H-D) they interviewed 1,013 adult female riders and 1,016 adult female non-riders, and found overwhelming evidence that riding a motorcycle greatly improves a woman’s feelings of overall self-worth.

Key insights surrounding women who ride motorcycles in comparison to those who don’t include the following:

  • More than twice as many always feel happy (37 percent of riders vs. 16 percent of non-riders)
  • Nearly four times as many always feel sexy (27 percent of riders vs. 7 percent of non-riders)
  • Nearly twice as many always feel confident (35 percent of riders vs. 18 percent of non-riders)

According to the study, more than half (53 percent) of women who ride cite their motorcycle as a key source of happiness and nearly three in four (74 percent) believe their lives have improved since they started riding.

Somewhat interesting is that the study found that beyond positively impacting a woman’s sense of self, riding can improve relationships. When it comes to romance, women who ride leave non-riders in their dust, being more content with:

  • Communication with their significant other (60 percent of riders vs. 38 percent of non-riders)
  • Physical intimacy (51 percent of riders vs. 35 percent of non-riders).

I can see it now… a group of marketer’s in a Harley-Davidson conference room brainstorming a catchy title for a new self-help book:  The No Excuses H-D Motorcycle Guide To Intimacy

The book will go something like this…  distraught woman loses it completely, then rebuilds her life bit by bit.  By the last chapter she has purchased a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, found freedom, independence, self-expression, a rebel spirit and ridden from downtown Tokyo to Mt. Fuji and attended the San Tropez H.O.G. rally in France.  She has found a richly rewarding new life and a new mate with who she shares a deeper, more extraordinary love than she could ever have imagined possible.  Simply put, in the romance Olympics she has obtained a “Gold” medal!

Look for it on a bookshelf soon.

Photo courtesy of HD.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Harley-Davidson Advertisement

Harley-Davidson Faux Advertisement

It makes a lasting impression in only seconds.   It’s provocative.

I’m talking about ads.

We see them every day, everywhere we go, whatever we do… advertisements for products and services plastered in front of our faces.

Good advertising “tricks” the average person into believing that they need a product or service even when they don’t, and the tricks are usually well-constructed.

This advertisement came to me via the Northwest Harley Blog Daily.  It is sublime and will have many motorcyclists wondering if they’ve gone too far.  After clicking on the “play” button my immediate thought was… “What am I watching?”  “Should I look away before something happens that I won’t be able to forget?”  Then you’re left wondering.

I can’t recommend watching it, but if you must the video advertisement is HERE.  The ad seems to focus less on particular features of the company’s products and more on the way these products are used.  Maybe it’s different in your part of the world, but I’m not exactly sure the message or what product is being “evangelized”…  it’s likely I missed the point, but some of the choices might be:

  1. A Harley will make a man out of you!
  2. Even a cross dresser wants a Harley?
  3. Someone who adopts the dress of the opposite sex wants a man or woman on a Harley?
  4. A new stylish dress and Clothing line launch for Ladies of Harley®?

There are times when I can be influenced by advertising techniques.  Although creative, this is not one of them!

Photo courtesy of Jung Chantme.  Harley-Davidson has stated they are targeting all demographics, but the odds of this being an officially sponsored deal is remote.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Elevate your lifestyle with another glass…

It might become the new Harley-Davidson slogan as Keith E. Wandell (H-D CEO) recently joined the board of directors for Constellation Brands.

Constant who?

Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ) is a Fortune 1000 company with more than 100 brands in their portfolio, sales in about 125 countries and operations in approximately 30 facilities.  They are the world’s leading premium wine company with a broad portfolio of products across the wine, beer and spirits categories.   Constellation’s brand portfolio includes Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois, Blackstone, Arbor Mist, Estancia, Ravenswood, Jackson Triggs, Kim Crawford, Corona Extra, Black Velvet Canadian Whisky and SVEDKA Vodka.

I can see a new marketing campaign now… the flirtatious, and witty pin-up bot from the future where there are no boundaries… SVEDKA Girl Grl.  You know her as the fembot of the future.  The world’s leading heavy cruiser motorcycle company joining together in a hip-hop nightlife where denizens do the “bot” dance… a version of “Dancing Machine” by the Jackson 5 (remixed by Scott Spock).  There will likely be posters and t-shirt giveaway’s with the sensual female robot standing astride a V-Rod… doing that super model burnout gig?!  Watch out Marisa Miller.  Your days are numbered!  Clearly merchandise tie-ins will be planned, scheduled and be most prolific.

In a company press release accolades oozed… “We are very pleased to welcome Keith to the board of directors and believe his experience in a diversified, consumer-driven industry, will provide excellent guidance as Constellation continues to focus on building its premium wine and spirits brands,” said Constellation’s Chairman of the Board, Richard Sands. “We look forward to the contributions he will make to the organization.

The editor of this blog wasn’t solicited for an opinion, however, had it been it would have went something like… “I think it’s important to not confine yourself to society’s stereotypes.  It’s radical to see H-D embrace every aspect of the robot future.  First in displacing manufacturing workers to potentially no real people in advertising.  No one owns the future so why can’t a fembot ride!

Look for my interview with the SVEDKA Grl soon.

Photo remix courtesy of Constellation and H-D.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Leslie Porterfield

Bonneville Salt Flats.  It’s no stranger to speed records.

And if you stroll through the race pits now days you’ll probably notice a lot of ponytails beneath helmets.  And they belong to women racers!  Racing in general is no longer a male dominated sport and motorcycle racing is no exception.

Harley-Davidson has made no secret of their strong interest in the female motorcycle market.  From support of the Women Riders Month, the International Female Ride Day to the dealer garage parties, Harley is helping women all over the world to join together to ride and break down any old stereotypes.  In some ways this is old news because in 1915 the 20-year-old Effie Hotchkiss drove from New York to California on a 3-speed Harley.  Or if you prefer during WWII, Bessie Stringfield rode from Army base to Army base as the only woman in the Army’s motorcycle dispatch unit.  Solo women motorcycle riders are revving engines as much as the next guy.

Now we have the world’s fastest woman on a motorcycle, Leslie Porterfield (34).  Not only does she hold the world record as the fastest female on a motorcycle, but she owns and operates High Five Cycles (Dallas, TX).   And, among many other accomplishments she has become the first woman to earn inclusion in the prestigious Bonneville 200 mph Club.  The first woman in its 61 year history.  After a nasty crash in 2007 she came back in 2008 to set the land speed record of 232MPH in the 2,000cc turbocharged class (on a 2002 turbo-modified Suzuki Hayabusa) and in the 1,000cc production class (2008 Honda CBR 1000) set the record of 192MPH.  Then at the 2009 International Speed Trails she claimed top speed of the meet award with a 240MPH pass.  Motorcycle tuning is performed by Scott Horner (Heads Up Performance) and Rhys Griffiths (APEX Speed Technology).

It turns out that Ms. Porterfield is featured on the cover of MyTekLife Magazine’s current issue, and for those lucky enough to be in the area she will be visiting Buddy Stubbs Arizona Harley-Davidson.  She is the honored guest during the Hogs and Dogs event on June 26th.  The location is 13850 N. Cave Creek Road and the event will include an opportunity to get autographs, and hear Ms. Porterfield talk about what’s next and going faster.   As a sidebar, Mr. Stubbs has an extensive racing career too which includes winning the Daytona 100 mile race in 1963.

For reference — the world’s fastest motorcycle crown belongs to Chris Carr and Denis Manning who logged 367.382MPH through the measured mile.

Photo courtesy of MyTekLife Magazine’s

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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BD_CalOrganizing your schedule shouldn’t be a burden.

I use a number of calendars both paper and electronic as I suspect many of you do the same.  Personally I think paper is easier, always available and generally more portable.  I was looking around for a new calendar and ran across the 2010 Big Dog Biker Calendar.  Should be no problem keeping track of important dates as the calendar has oversized date boxes providing plenty of room to write in important events as well as 12 months of inspiring images. However, don’t be fooled because most of these ladies aren’t the ‘gas chick’ on the back seat type… they ride motorcycles for personal enjoyment.  Go figure!

That’s what impressed me about this calendar.  I must be getting old(er) as many of the models are “real” women! Mature women who ride their own bike.  There is real beauty in maturity versus the plastified bimbo’s with platform shoes that are too fake, too overdone.  To each his own… I suppose.  I’ve made every effort to avoid sleazy and keep it classy.  It’s a challenge, but someone’s got to do it.

Photo courtesy of Big Dog Biker.

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