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The 2012 Progressive International Motorcycle show will soon hit the northwest on December 16-18th at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.

Attendees can check-out new bikes from Aprilia, Beta, BMW, Brammo, BRP, Darwin, Ducati, Erik Buell Racing, Gas Gas, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Husqvarna, Indian, Kawasaki, KTM, Moto Guzzi, MV Agusta, Norton, Star, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory and Yamaha.  There will also be the latest aftermarket parts and accessories.

Not only will there be new bikes, but the show is jammed pack with other events and activities.

There is the Learning Curve – an interactive stage with industry experts presenting a variety of motorcycling topics for both new and experienced riders including adventure riding, motorcycle maintenance, increasing bike performance, seminars for women riders and more.   There will be Demo Rides for licensed motorcyclists.  There is the Custom Bike Show – where motorcycle builders will showcase elite-level custom motorcycles competing for a piece of a $90,000 cash purse prize and a chance to compete in the U.S. Championship, at the Daytona Beach Motorcycle Show, in March.

The Smage Bros will have a motorcycle trials stunt riding show and attendees will also get a chance to create their own motorcycle design at the Kawasaki Design-A-Bike kiosk, featuring a brand new digital spray-painting technology available only at these shows.

See you there!

Photo courtesy of Progressive.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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The FBI reported that in 2009 there was a 17% jump in the number of law enforcement officers “feloniously killed” in the line of duty (LODD) compared to the previous year.  One of the more egregious incidents included the slaying of four Lakewood, WA., police officers who were ambushed at a coffee house outside Tacoma.  In total the Seattle area experienced the deaths of 7 police officers last year and one in the early months of 2010.

Recently I was contacted by Gary Fox, a retired police officer who is a member of the Line of Duty Death Response Team and the Behind the Badge Foundation.  Clearly no one wants to contemplate their own death, but law enforcement is a high-risk occupation with the very real possibility of such a tragedy and these groups are extremely helpful to the families and police departments.  At any rate, Mr. Fox informed me about a motorcycle ride which will be led by Seattle Police Officer, Clayton Powell, as well as other current officers and friends, who have pulled this together in honor of the officers killed in the line of duty.

The inaugural ride is called the Forza 009  Ride to Remember and it will occur this Sunday, July 25th.  The “FOR” stands for Fallen Officers Ride.  The “ZA” is in remembrance of the Forza Coffee Shop in Parkland — the sight of the worst single incident involving a LODD (line of duty death).  The ride is open to all law enforcement, fire fighters and supporters.  The staging area will be at the 7500 block of East Marginal  Way, in the Boeing Parking Lot.  From there they plan to ride to the East Precinct in Seattle, where a memorial Patch will be presented to the precinct;  from there, they will ride to the Lakewood Precinct where four patches will be presented;  from there to Eatonville to the Pierce County Mountain Precinct; and then to the Forza Coffee shop in Lakewood for a BBQ and raffle.

The proceeds of this ride will assist squad members, agency officers, and family members who would like to go the National Police Week festivities in Washington, DC., during May, but don’t have the funds.   The proceeds of this ride will assist those who can’t afford to go and the ride web site has all the information detail.

Photos courtesy of Behind The Badge and FORza web site.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Auction Preview

“The sun is get’n ripe and the water’s get’n warmer”
“The days are get’n longer , them shorts are get’n shorter, you won’t hear me complain”
“It’s a summer thing”

It’s the lyrics from country’s new comer, Troy Olsen who sings a song which highlights friends, beverages and flotation devices on the water.

And speaking of flotation…it’s well known that most Harley buyers use financing from Harley-David Financial Services (HDFS) when they purchase a new ride.  Not so long ago, H-D applied logic to its loan portfolio that was eerily similar to the housing bust.  The company used its in-house finance unit to chase after subprime borrowers, making it easy for them to buy $20,000 chrome-sters with no money down.  The risky lending—which later forced Harley to take million dollar write-downs — along with rising default rates created major problems.  Customers with low credit scores weren’t the only issue for HDFS.  Turns out those “creditworthy customers” walked from those no-money-down financing offers and along came the delinquencies as repossessions reached new levels.

Silvio Perez (Manheim) - Starts The Auction

In steps Manheim — a worldwide leader in the sale of used vehicles.  Being reported as a first, Manheim Seattle helped execute a massive auction sale of Harley-Davidson motorcycles which were ‘rounded up’ from the various repossession parts of the U.S.  The auction occurred last week and we had a man on the inside watching some of the action.

Essentially two auctions took place over a two-day period.  The first day was exclusive to H-D dealers and the second was open to any type vehicle dealer.  Of the 60+ motorcycles on day #1 about 40 sold with the remainder falling short of the minimum required bid.  Tells you a little about where the dealers are in terms of inventory and price right now.  The GM from Downtown H-D picked up a great buy on a Springer Screamin Eagle.  The 20 or so unsold were added to the second day of bikes scheduled for auction to all vehicle dealers.  The second day motorcycle inventory list were older bikes vs. the first day.  However, most but not all sold.  Several stalled at the minimum required and the auctioneer prompted the lady from HDFS as to any movement on the minimum bid as she looked to be pulling her hair out with the fast action pace of the event.

Crowds Swarm the Auction Motorcycles

The motorcycle repossession/auction business is somewhat of a hidden market business which the general public knows little about. Given that the housing market remains stressed with foreclosures and short-sales being high we can expect motorcycle delinquencies to remain high and as a result firms like Manheim will continue to flourish.

Photos courtesy of John (aka.“Burn-Out”) and Manheim.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Screen Shot From Site - Bend Area (Cascade Lakes)

Whatever kind of motorcyclist you are — day tripper or world explorer — mapping software can help start your next adventure in the right direction.

Fortunately FX Development, Inc., a Seattle-based early stage startup recently launched myscenicdrives.com.  It’s a new website to help motorcyclists find that cool scenic drive.  The site offers cleaver features that will help riders find new things to explore. Each scenic drive provides an overview, interactive map, recommended stops, weather forecast, and GPS directions.

Initially the company was focused on the Pacific Northwest, but recently listed rides for Idaho and California as it expands.  The site provides both a rich, user-friendly web interface for PCs as well as a mobile web version which is great for smartphones like the iPhone.  Once the user selects a drive, phones with GPS capabilities and software (such as Google Maps) will easily get you on the road.

The website currently features more 40 scenic drives in California, Washington, Oregon and Idaho with more States coming.

An item I would find useful is something like what the “Directory Assistance” service does today for convenience by sending an SMS text-message to the rider.  If I’m on the road mobile users are eager to get information and directions on the go especially if there is limited web access in a remote area.  A text message of the route along with pertinent details saved via a text message would provide me the extra convenience and functionality that I like.  With virtually 100% of handsets in the US capable of text messaging, it would be smart to leverage this channel and deliver additional value.

One word of caution for the site builders… I’ve seen a number of these type sites fall victim of having a preoccupation and interest in $$, not riding, and therefore have put the focus on advertising at the expense of the consumer experience.  Don’t do it!!

Photo courtesy of myscenicdrives.com

All Rights Reserved (C) Northwest Harley Blog

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It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment it happened. Maybe it was the first time I saw that trucker crying in his beer while the Blues Brothers sang “Stand By Your Man,” but on occasion I like to run the dial through the XM country music channels and have a listen.

And I don’t think I’ve heard any song more than Dierks Bentley “Free and Easy Down The Road I Go” on country radio.  It bridges the old and new and takes you back to the country of yore, yet is still fresh with a sound that’s modern.  Listen to it HERE.  You might say that REAL country music became extinct somewhere around the early 80’s in favor of horrendously polished and confectionery, factory-churned “hits.”  To that I say you’re correct in large part and long live Jimmie, Merle, Johnny, Willie, Waylon, etc.

If you haven’t been to Nashville, you haven’t been to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.  And you’re the worse for it.  You might think you don’t care about boot-kickers, and if so you’re missing out on the history of America.  From slaves to the Dust Bowl to the Elvis solid gold Cadillac and the history/tragedy of the Williams family. To see the old footage of people fiddlin’ and dancin’ and watching Jimmie Rodgers sing you become an instant believer and a fan.

My point?  To help evangelize that Dierks Bentley will host his Miles & Music for Kids celebrity motorcycle ride and concert series in Seattle on Sept. 18th. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Seattle Children’s Hospital. The approximately 45-minute ride will depart from Destination Harley-Davidson of Tacoma and travel to the Puyallup Fair. Tickets go on sale March 27th.

Should be fun!

Photo courtesy of Dierks Bentley.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Davidson Blog

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Captain Phil Harris

Phil Harris passed away yesterday at the age of 53.

Very sad and my thoughts are with his family and especially his sons (Jake and Josh).

Many of you know him as Capt. Phil Harris from the reality TV series Deadliest Catch on the Discovery Channel.  He was the Cornelia Marie captain, a 128-foot fishing boat that carries 180 pots and the capacity to hold 312,000 pounds of crab.  Phil celebrated 16 years on the fishing boat and his 30th year in the crab-fishing industry.  It was just two weeks ago he suffered a stroke while off loading a load of Opilio crabs in St. Paul and seemed to be making good progress.

During parts of the off season the boat was moored in Seattle and Phil lived in Lake Stevens.  There were numerous reports of Phil riding his Harley-Davidson on Washington highways during the warmer months.  Last year he had purchased a new bike from Titan Motorcycles (The Black Widow).

I’ve never been a fan of reality TV, but this show pulled me in and I enjoyed watching Phil on a number of episodes.  It was like you got to know him personally.

Rest in peace.

Photo courtesy MySpace (Phil Harris) site

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This is a reminder that tomorrow is the start of the 2009 Cycle World International Motorcycle Show in Seattle, WA.

Location:
Qwest Field Event Center
800 Occidental Ave.
Seattle, WA

When:
Friday, December 11:  4:00 – 9:00pm
Saturday, December 12: 9:30 am – 8:00pm
Sunday, December 13: 9:30am – 5:00pm

See you there!

Photo courtesy of Cycle World.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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