Next time you you ride (or drive) through Nashville you need to stop and check out one of my favorite places for lunch. Boswell’s Harley-Davidson is located on Interstate 40 just a couple miles east of downtown and in addition to having one of the most respected and long-standing Harley dealerships in the country, they also have a top-notch in-store grill that serves some of the best food in Music City. It’s so good that they just won the 2009 “Toast of Music City Best Lunch Award”. What could be better? Great food in a motorcycle environement in the heart of Music City USA! Congrats to Ray, Marci and the whole crew at Boswell’s Grill!
Since I live in Music City, USA, the home of country music, and a big portion of my work is music related… I guess you could say I have an interest in Country Music. That’s why I noticed that Harley-Davidson recently posted a YouTube video that highlights the Academy of Country Music’s Chairman’s Ride that took place back in April. The annual event which coincides with the ACM Awards Show and benefits the Lifting Lives Charity brought out a number of big-name stars and this year Willie G. himself even participated. Check out the video below.
Oh, and as a side note… the bike that James Otto is riding (Silver Road Glide with orange wheels) is one that I photographed back in 2008 at a local dealership. A pretty cool, high-dollar one-off…
I saw this Road Glide at a local H-D Dealership today. WOW… That is one green motorcycle, right down to the frame, rims, snake-skin seat and ape hangers! Truly a custom look… that’s for sure.
Does anybody besides me remember the old days when nobody would ride a green motorcycle? There used to be some superstition about it… but I don’t go for that kind of thing. Apparently, neither does the owner of this bike. Pretty cool!
My buddy Nud and I got about 120 miles in this morning. Temps were in the 70’s and the sky was overcast… making for a very comfortable ride. We could have stayed out all day but alas… honeydoos awaited so we were back home before noon.
I had the opportunity to shoot this cool Sporty this week. This bike is owned by a local Nashville guy and I really like it a lot. I don’t know why but I think I will always be partial to the Sportster. Yeah… I know it’s known as the “Little Harley” and I know some people call it a “Chik Bike”… but that’s a bunch of hooey! This bike is an American classic, fun to ride and with a little bit of effort can be made to stand out in a crowd… like this one. Honestly, of all the bikes I’ve owned over the years, the only one I really wish I had back is my ’95 Sportster. I loved that bike and one day hope to have another one.
I had no idea that the Tennessee had Troopers on two wheels but the other day this bike greeted me at the door of a local Harley-Davidson dealer. I think it’s cool!
Tonight I went to the Music City Bike Night over at Boswell’s Harley-Davidson in Nashville. It was a good time with lots of bikes, a good band, good food and good hang time. When I go to these types of events, one bike will usually stand out in the crowd to me… and tonight was no different.
This cool Harley-Davidson Nightster was a real eye-catcher. You can’t really tell from these pics but the Burnt Orange paint had huge metal flake in it. Other custom items included vintage style pin-stripe, black powder-coated rims with HUGE spokes, Black Vance & Hines Shortshots, a Roland Sands Designs breather and mini-ape handle bars. Pretty cool!
Whew…. today was one crazy day on a number of different levels! But, there was a moment of motorcycle sanity when I pulled into a Phillips 66 to gas up the truck. A guy pulled in on a ’81 Shovel Head that was pretty cool. He was nice enough to let me grab a few pics.
Got some cool stuff in the mail today… the July 2002 issue of Cycle World with their 2×2 feature (head to heads including the Harley XR1200 vs the Ducati Sport 1000… cant wait to read that) and another promotional item from the Motorcompany.
They sent me a gift card and if I go test ride a 2009 Harley-Davidson in the month of June I get a copy of the “100 Years of Harley-Davidson” book absolutely free. They say there is no catch. Hmmm… I’d love to ride the ’09 Street Bob… and you can never have enough motorcycle books!
As a marketing professional I realize that I am more aware of branding than the average person on the street is. Yes… I am “that” guy who takes special interest in TV commercials, print advertisements, billboards, etc as well as other little positioning tactics like logo and product placement in TV shows and movies. The whole concept of successfully telling people what they like (blatantly or on the sly) and why they like it fascinates me to the point of obsession.
Well, after years of study and observation I’ve come to the conclusion that the masters at the game are the marketing geniuses behind the Bar and Shield at Harley-Davidson. Think about it. The Motorcompany has been selling essentially the same product for years now and people worldwide are standing in line to snatch them up. How do they do it you ask? Simple… they understand that they are not selling motorcycles but rather a “lifestyle”.
People don’t buy Harley-Davidson motorcycles because they are the best engineered 2-wheelers out there. They buy them because they want to own a Harley-Davidson! It’s big, it’s bad, it’s cool… and the company is not afraid to tell you as much!
And now, with a market bordering on over-saturation and an economy in the USA that is not cooperating with desired 30% per year growth spurts… the experts are at it again. What can they do to bolster slumping sales? How about targeting a wide-open group of new customers… the female motorcyclist. About a year ago, women only events started happening at H-D shops across the country and just recently a new ad campaign called “Inspire to Ride” was launched and in typical H-D fashion… it is top-notch!
They got 4 high profile women (Jillian Michaels of The Biggest Loser, recording artist Jewel, actress Tricia Helfer and successful businesswoman Deborah, Dimiceli) to pose for ads on Harleys in Vanity Fair… and tell their story of why they ride while simultaneously launching their self proclaimed campaign to “encourage 100,000 women to ride” in the month of May.
The materials include the ads (in Vanity Fair and others to come I’m sure), in store POP 6-page foldout flyers (as pictured here) and a killer video that is popping up all over the Internet. Now I know that some of my favorite female motorcycle bloggers don’t like targeted female marketing in the motorcycle industry but I have to say that I think this is another brilliant marketing move by H-D that will likely pay off big and allow them to expand their reach. I mean come on… check out the video below for yourself and tell me ladies… how can you walk away and not be inspired to ride?
You may remember that back on April 17th I RANTed about winning a local dealers event t-shirt design contest… well today was the day that I was awarded my prize. Pictured above is Kahy Potter of Bumpus Harley-Davidson handing me a $500 giftcard. I’m really honored to have won this and to be a part of such a great dealerships 2009 events. Thanks Bumpus!
Here’s a shot of a cool Harley I spotted on the way home from the office tonight. It was a great day to be riding… for sure!
After an awesome group ride with 18 friends this morning… some of us made our way to a local Bike Show. It was the first bike show of the year for me and I had a blast. Here are just a few pics.
Today was a busy day and with the weather as nice as it was in Middle Tennessee I was more than ready for an early evening ride, so I hopped on the Electra Glide and made my way out of Nashville to Henry Horton State Park located in Chapel Hill, Tennessee. It was a pretty normal ride and I enjoyed every part of it… but one.
Those of you that know me well, know that I sing a lot… so much so that half the time I don’t even know I am doing it. At one point in my life I was a full-time musician and even today much of my work is related to the music industry so I guess it is natural that music runs through my head a lot.
Well anyway, as I rolled onto Tennessee State Highway 99 I immediately started singing a song from one of my all-time favorite bands… Toto.
“99… I’ve been waiting so long, oh 99 where did we go wrong… PWAAHHHH, SPIT, SPIT, SPIT”
Out of nowhere and completely unexpected… something happened to me that has never happened to me before. A bug flew in my mouth. That’s right… in 40 years of riding I have never had a bug fly in my mouth… until today. And this was no little nat either. Whatever it was was about the size of a peanut (for real) and luckily it hit my front tooth or it probably would have went straight down my throat.
My first instinct was to spit it out which I did in a split second.. and in fact I kept spitting for the next 10 miles or so. It was pretty gross and I brushed my teeth as soon as possible when I got home… in fact, thinking about all of this again, I’m going to stop writing and go brush my teeth again right now… be right back.
I feel better now. Anyway, I think I may start singing to myself more on the bike.
On the way back home I stopped off at Bumpus Harley-Davidson for my first Bike Night of the year. Man it felt good to just hang around all those bikes and bikers after the long winter. But I’m really glad I stopped for another reason too. The guy that owns and operates Mad Dog Customs in Murfreesboro, Tennessee was there with his latest project. He specializes in giving Sportsters an old-school/bobber look and if the bike below is any indication, he is really good at it. This bike is an ’02 with less than 5,000 miles on it but looks way retro and way cool. I FREAKIN’ LOVE IT! I took a bunch of pics so if you want to see them CLICK HERE.
A few weeks ago one of our local H-D dealerships put out the cattle call for local designers to submit designs for their 2009 event t-shirts. I have been a long-time fan of vintage speed shop artwork so I threw together a piece with that vibe and sent it in. I was told there were 12 entries and when the final voting was complete… I won! I’m honored and I’m pretty jacked as well because with the first place award comes $500 which will go directly into the Electra Glide.
OK… so this is becoming sport for me now. Not long ago I was driving down the interstate and saw an interesting motorcycle . I grabbed my Canon SD1000 point-and-shoot, snapped a quick one and didn’t think much about it until later when I looked to see that it actually came out pretty cool. I was hooked!
I spend so much of my time in a studio in controlled lighting situations, shooting still product that the challenge of getting a decent shot of a moving object, in a split second, with a cheap camera, in unpredictable lighting conditions… all through a windshield without using a viewfinder… has become an obsession! Well, obsession may be a bit strong but it is a ton of fun! Here is my latest capture.
I had a great time at the 2009 Spring Thaw Bike Show and Swap Meet in Shelbyville, Tennessee today. I took the Canon SD1000 point-and-shoot with me and got a few shots and as usual I was drawn to the “old-school” and “low-buck-chopper” bikes. As a matter of fact, I was one of the judges in the “Low-Buck-Chopper” class.
Follow the link at the bottom of this RANT to see a ton more pics. Congrats to Both Barrels Promotions for another great event this year.
The April issue of Thunder Roads Tennessee is now in the stores and this month my article is about the new Harley-Davidson Iron 883. So… all my fellow Tennessean’s… be sure to grab a copy at your local dealer!
Thunder Roads Tennessee has been in publication for 10 years now and is the primier motorcycle publication in the state of Tennessee… and the good news is that it is absolutely FREE!
On my way home tonight, I happened to pass by one of our local Harley-Davidson dealerships and I immediately went into a Homer-Simpson trance and said to myself…. ooooooooh….. Neeeeeeeeon.
I know, you’re probably thinking that I am easily entertained… but for sure, this store looks cool at night so I decided to stop and snap a few shots. For you camera nerds out there… each of these images was shot at 1/8 second, F-Stop 2.8 with no flash. I used the top of my truck as a big huge tripod.
Oddly enough… John Mayer’s “Neon” has been buzzing through my head all night! You musicians and music lovers will get that. For the rest of you… watch the video below!
A friend of mine is probably in contention for “husband of the year” honors. His wife recently completed the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course and to celebrate her 4oth birthday today, he bought her a Sportster!
Since he doesn’t have an “M” endorsement, he asked me to go with him to pick it up and ride it back home. Of course I said yes! He got an ’01 with 2300 miles on it… a really sweet little Sporty. (I stole these pics from the local ad.) It was about a 35 mile ride back to his house and by the time I got there, I was Jonesing hard for my old Sportster. What a fun bike!
BTW… she was thrilled. Heck yeah… who wouldn’t be!
I had been waiting for this weekend all Winter long! After enduring week after week of less-than-desirable riding conditions… the torture ended this Saturday and Sunday as beautiful riding weather prevailed and sunshine and temperatures in the low 70’s were the fashion in Middle Tennessee.
I took full advantage! On Saturday I hopped on the Electra Glide and lead my first group ride of the year. It was a beautiful backroads route and I completely enjoyed riding with 13 of my friends… some that I hadn’t seen in several weeks.
That afternoon I test rode the 2009 Buell SB12XSs (see RANT from 03/21/09) and on Sunday afternoon I escaped for a ride on the SV, enjoying some of my favorite curveys. Below is a short video from Sunday’s excursion. It was a great weekend of riding!
Last night, while on a date with my lovely wife, I stopped in the local Barnes and Noble to see if I could find anything interesting to read. I just finished Brian “Head” Welches book “Save Me From Myself” a couple days ago and was sort of in the mood to go back to another motorcycle related book. I’ve read all of Sonny Barger’s books and a few others so I wasn’t holding out hope that I would find anything… but after running a search on the in-store laptop, I discovered a new (copyright 2009) book entitled “No Angel” by a former ATF agent by the name of Jay Dobyns. I read a similar book a few years ago called “Under and Alone” by William Queen (cop infiltrates MC) so I wasn’t real excited… but since it was all I could find (and it was tagged 20% off)… I grabbed it. I’ll let you know how it is when I’m finished.
BTW… Anybody get my joke in the title of this RANT?
No time for riding this weekend… too busy for sure… but I did waste some time on-line and found this cool video. It’s called “Motorcycle Reel” and was apparently produced by a company called Fuel360Productions. Lot’s of cool bikes and lots of high profile motorcycle people including the legendary Indian Larry. It even features one of my favorite Cheryl Crow tunes… but my favorite part of this video is the shot of the videographer at about 1:07… good grief man! It’s a quick shot but if you look closely you’ll see that this guy earned his pay on this day!
One of my absolute favorite things to do is hop on the bike, find a road I’ve never been down before, and see where it leads me. I love the feeling of not knowing what might be around the next corner… maybe hills, maybe an old farm house, maybe a lake… who knows but the whole experience gives me a sense of freedom that I don’t get anywhere else.
Saturday was a beautiful day in Middle Tennessee… Temps reached the upper 60’s and the sun was plentiful… so before I started on that painting project I promised my wife I would do, I hopped on the Electra Glide and took off on a road to nowhere. Well, actually it did go somewhere… Bradley’s Creek was a name I saw on a cemetery and an old Baptist Church… and a road sign told me at one point that I was about to turn off of “Twelve Corners Road”… but other than that I’m not sure where I was. It was just my kind of ride! Here are a few pics for you… plus a short video at the bottom.