Motorcycle News

BRAGGIN’ ON NASHVILLE AND GUSHER CYCLES

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Please allow me to brag on my hometown for just a minute. Widely known for county music, Nashville is much more than most people think and among other things, has a rich history in the hotrod and motorcycle culture. Those traditions continue today and there are a host of talented builders (of both the 4-wheeled and two-wheeled kind) that currently call The Music City home.

One of those talented individuals is J Ryan of Gusher Cycles. I first met J Ryan about 8 years ago at a local bike show and since then have seen him out and about once or twice a year. It’s to the point now that I look for him at any show I think he might be at… just because I know he will have something stellar on display.

Last weekend I attended a show at the Nashville Fairgrounds and sure enough, J Ryan was there with another one of his smokin’ hot creations. You’re going to have to believe me when I tell you that these photos don’t come close to accurately reproducing the gorgeous paint job on this bike (show lighting is always so awesome!) but even so, you can see that J Ryan has perfected his painting and fabrication skills to a level that most will never reach.

Take a look and then jump on over to gushercycles.com to see more of J Ryans creations. I’m jonesin’ hard to have him paint my Sporty project bike for me and if you’re looking for custom work yourself (paint, fabrication, bars, etc.) you should definitely check out what Gusher Cycles has to offer.

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SPRING IS IN THE AIR!

The Spring Thaw! That’s what they call the motorcycle and car show that my friends over at Both Barrels Promotions do every March to kick off the “official” ridding and cruise-in season here in Nashville. It’s the show we look forward to all winter long… knowing that it signifies that the “Dark Months” are officially behind us and we can move on to more cooperative weather for our motorcycle and hot rod habits. It’s an awesome feeling… and today was the day. I never miss this show and this year brought out some real gems. These are a few of my favorites. Look for more in depth features on some of them in the near future… but for now, enjoy the re-cap.

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OUTSIDE LOOKING IN…

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I love car and bike shows… probably a little too much since they seem to take up way more of my time than any normal person should allow. They are my obsession I suppose, but I just can’t help it. I love to see classic vehicles and all the things that their owners have done to preserve them. It’s educational, giving me a lot of ideas for my own projects. It’s nostalgic, reminding me of simpler times and the historical significance of the US auto and bike industries over the years. It’s therapeutic, captivating my thoughts for a few hours and allowing me to forget real-world issues and pressures that we all face in adult life. And it brings up fond memories of my youth that includes vehicles I’ve owned in years past and great times I’ve had working on them with my dad. IT’S FUN!!!

Yes… I’ve been known to wander a car or bike show from open to close many times, looking at the same vehicles over and over… but eventually the doors have to close and they kick me out for the night. Sometimes that’s when the fun starts though. I’ve noticed over the years that a lot of the best cars and bikes you will see at a show are not on the show floor but rather in the parking lot. All of the photos in this post were taken in the parking lot of shows I’ve been to. I hope you enjoy them and I also hope that the next time you’re leaving a show, you’ll keep your eyes open on the way back to the car. You might just see some of the best rides all day on the outside looking in.

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A CLOSER LOOK AT THE DUCATI SCRAMBLER

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All you have to do is say the words “Ducati Scrambler” and those of us who love the two-wheeled life instantly perk up. At least those of us with a few years on our tires and sufficient memory to recall earlier days. The Scrambler was Ducati’s push into the US, back when bellbottoms and wide collared shirts were the fashion and it was the epitome of the “little motorbike” that everyone wanted. By 1968 standards it had “the” sporty look, a solid frame, responsive controls, perfectly matched powerplant options of both a 250 and 350 motor… oh, and perhaps most importantly… it was cool! Despite it’s success on the street, and even on the track to an extent, Ducati decided to suspend production in 1974 bringing an end to what we all thought was the Scrambler legacy.

But hold on… not so fast! After much anticipation, Ducati introduced four new Scrambler models in 2015 (Icon, Full Throttle, Classic & Urban Enduro) to the delight of old school fans and hipsters alike. The results have been impressive and according to Revzilla, Ducati delivered 7,309 units in April of 2015 resulting in the company’s best sales month in history! This is largely due to the introduction of the new Scrambler.

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As an old school kind of guy, my interest was more than peaked when Ducati started leaking information about this groovy little motorbike, so when the local Nashville Ducati dealer (Bloodworth Motorcycles) announced a factory demo day that included the Scrambler, I was all in. I signed up early and got to demo the new Scrambler on a 30 minute ride that covered everything from highway to backroads and even some good old urban bumper to bumper traffic. Here’s my take on the Scrambler.

First off, this bike is a real eye catcher. Even sitting in a line of high-powered, high dollar Ducati sport bikes, my eye instantly gravitated to the base model Icon Scrambler. It’s the perfect blend of old-school meets modern day motorcycle and practically begs you to ride it. When you first sit on the bike you will immediately notice that the handlebars are much like that of a dirt bike and you instantly get the feeling that this is a nimble and spry motorcycle. Seat height was very comfortable for my 5 foot 9 inch frame and all the controls were simple to operate and within easy reach.

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Soon I was off on an adventure in the middle of a 12 bike pack. The first part of our ride took us down a stretch of interstate that allowed me to see what the 803cc motor had to offer. It did not disappoint and I was pleasantly surprised at how much torque the Scrambler had. Of course, with no wind screen, it was not the most comfortable ride at 70 miles per hour but then again, long interstate rides are not what this bike is built for. Next we made our way through 11 miles of twists and turns. This is where the Scrambler shined for me. I expected it to be a bit top-heavy under hard cornering but to my surprise it was smooth as silk and gripped the road admirably. The dirt bike “feel” was evident here again and I had no problems laying the bike over and hanging with the sport bikes in the group. The six-speed transmission and super-responsive clutch performed flawlessly and added to the fun. This road did reveal my biggest complaint about the Scrambler however. I found the tachometer to be painfully hard to read, especially when navigating sharp turns and trying to sneak a quick look at the RPMs. It’s not a deal-breaker but I hope that Ducati will address this issue going forward.

On our way back to the dealership we got caught in rush hour traffic. It lasted about 5 miles and gave me the opportunity to test out the Scrambler in a real-world situation. The bike performed great. It’s light enough to maneuver easy and has enough torque to get you out and away from tight situations. I could easily see this bike as a daily commuter but I do have to say… one drawback would have to be the hot exhaust pipe just under your right thigh. It’s positioned just where you can really feel it and on a day that saw over 90 degree temperatures, I was more than aware of it. Again… not a deal breaker but something to consider.

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All in all, I’d have to say that the Ducati Scrambler is well worth a look for the rider who wants a reasonably priced (starting at $8595 MSRP) smaller, fun bike for either canyon carving or commuting. I could easily see one in my garage and I suspect that if it were there I’d probably be pulling it out more than any of the others because of it’s size and “fun” factor. Check one out for yourself!

PROS:
– Looks Fantastic
– Lots of Torque
– Very Manuverable

CONS:
– Poor visibility of the tach
– Warm Exhaust Pipe

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned.

This review indicates my own personal opinion of this product and should be taken as just that. Yours may vary and you should try this product yourself before drawing any conclusions about it.

© 2016 Biker Swag, All Rights Reserved. No part of this review may be reproduced in any format without express written permission.

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HANGIN’ WITH THE REDNECK BRETHREN!

September is one of my favorite months for a few reasons. First, I can finally hop on my bike in Middle Tennessee and ride a fair distance without my brain becoming scrambled eggs from the 100+ degree heat… second, the NFL season kicks off and I still have hope that the Kansas City Chiefs may have a decent year… and third, the Redneck Rumble!

The first two I’m sure you can relate to but you may not know what the Redneck Rumble is. No, it’s not a bunch of hillbilly’s knocking each other out with moonshine jugs… it’s just one of the baddest car and bike shows with some of the coolest people anywhere in the country. Most of what you see at this show is projects built by their owners, in their own backyards. with their own hands… and the best parts they could come up with. NO TRAILER QUEENS!

My buddy Scooter over at www.BothBarrelsPromotions.com always does a great job putting this show together and this year was no exception. Record turn-out made for a great day! Here are a few pics but you can view a ton more if you CLICK HERE.


THE EXPERIENCE OF RIDING A MOTOCROSS TRACK

Today I was watching the High Point motocross race on DVR and a company called GoPro ran a commercial for their HD Hero Camera. It’s a helmet cam and the quality seems pretty good. Below is the video that the commercial was taken from… check it out. The video quality is good but the experience of riding a motocross track is even better! I may have to do a review on this camera soon.


JESSE JAMES’ METAL CHURCH #1

If you’ve not seen this yet you need to check it out. Jesse is still the coolest.