Rocket City Rally

Just returned from my second trek to the Great Chicken Rally in Huntsville, Alabama.

I still prefer the old “Rocket City Rally” name because it fits in with the city so much better. The space museum and much of the architecture play tribute to the role Huntsville played in the American space program and still plays in high-tech ballistics. But they do cook up a huge amount of chicken!

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Vintage Bike Show

Trail 70 RowLast weekend was the annual motorcycle show down at Brookside Motorcycle Company.

As usual Paul and the gang put out a great spread and the attendance was excellent. The lingering clouds finally coughed up some rain- but it was late in the day and everybody seemed to have a great time.

Lots of photos were snapped and we’ve shared a few here…

Photo Gallery: Brookside Motorcycle Company 2012 Spring Bike Show

Mana in the Springtime

File this one under: Cool Motorcycles Americans Won’t Buy

A couple of years ago I took a spin on a motorcycle called an Aprilia Mana. It’s an 850cc V-twin that looks like a spiffy sort of bike- no fairings or leather tassels. Just a sit-upright standard with tons of storage and a comfortable seat.

I enjoyed the heck out of it. Brad even wrote a very favorable ride review of the Aprilia Mana. But– there’s a very big but…

It doesn’t have a shifter.

Omigod! That’s right. The Mana uses a constantly variable transmission (CVT) which in layman’s terms means “automatic.” And there’s no quicker way to emasculate the average motorcycle riding dude than to suggest he ride a motorcycle with an automatic. So this perfectly capable bike, dare I say versatile, sits in dealer showrooms across this country unwanted.

So the Mana will join the ranks of fine motorcycles, like the Honda Transalp and the Yamaha TDM 850, that have landed on our shores and promptly flopped.

But the good news is if you’re looking for a deal on a brand new motorcycle with a full warranty, you’re in luck.  Aprilia is offering 2009 Manas for damn near half the original sticker. For details visit our local Aprilia dealer: Brookside Motorcycle Company.

 

Buy a brand new motorcycle for nearly half price.

Ducati Changing Hands Again

As often as their ownership changes it amazes me that these guys produce anything worth a crap. Let alone stuff very much worth a crap.

Originally published March 17, 2012 The Blog at Places 2 Ride.

Wanna’ Buy a Ducati?

Or maybe a Ducati factory?

Ducati 1199 PanigaleFor about the umpteenth time in recent memory the Italian flagship of motorcycling may be up for sale. In 2005 a private equity group known as Investindustrial  purchased Ducati from a group of doctors in Texas. Now it appears they intend to sell. Investindustrial had Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs sound out a public listing for Ducati in Hong Kong last year.

Investindustrial’s chairman, Andrea Bonomi, said a handful of groups in Asia, Europe and the United States are interested in the sale. Rumors abound and possible suitors like BMW, Volkswagen and even Mahindra have been mentioned as possible buyers.

Kickin’ the KLR

Last month the folks at BMW Owners News magazine asked a simple question for their Kickin’ Tires column.

What was your least desirable motorcycle?

I thought about it for a few minutes and decided to share my experience with the Kawsaki KLR 650. To my surprise they published my comments and a fairly large photo in the October issue! Apologies in advance to all my KLR-riding friends.

Click to read article...

So what was your least favorite motorcycle?