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Monday, September 29, 2014

First Thursday Night

After I left bike night earlier this month, I rode around the city for a little while.  It was a beautiful night so I got some photos in Boom Island Park with the moon and Minneapolis skyline behind the bike and then rode over to get a few photos near the Lowry Ave Bridge.

The photos look pretty good in black-and-white too.  Do you remember when I would only post black-and-white photos to the blog?

Don't forget... this Thursday is First Thursday!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

First Thursday - September 2014 - Part 3

Here's a handful of Harleys from First Thursday bike night at Dulono's Pizza.

First up is this cafe racer-style Sportster.  The custom shift linkage is really cool.

Performance-oriented Sporty:

This Sportster appears to be designed to carry a wheelchair.  That's pretty awesome if that's the case.  I wish I had taken a closer look at the hand and foot controls to see if/how they were modified.

Yellow Sporty with a springer.

I wrap up this month's coverage with a blacked out big twin in the grass.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

First Thursday - September 2014 - Part 2

There was a great turnout for First Thursday at Dulono's Pizza earlier this month.

As usual, there was a wide variety of bikes - something for everyone...

Japanese chops:

A stripped down Beemer:

A motorcycle-vacuum-cleaner combo:

Honda with plumbing parts:

Classic Triumph:

Creative combinations:

Cartoon characters & Muppets:

...and this Venom SS.

Harleys (mostly Sportsters) are up next.

Friday, September 26, 2014

First Thursday - September 2014 - Part 1

Look what showed up at First Thursday at Dulono's Pizza this month... the new Indian Scout.  I saw photos online when it launched but was happy to finally see it in person.

As a HUGE fan of Sportsters, I was eagerly anticipating a re-launch of the Scout as a similar model from a rival brand, but I'm disappointed.  Don't get me wrong, you get a lot of bike for the money in a new Scout (100hp, 6-speeds, etc.) but I am having a difficult time with the styling, especially that damn radiator.  I understand the desire to make a modern machine with modern parts and performance, but (I know this is an odd question) is that really what people want?  To me, this odd-looking, fin-less, liquid-cooled engine makes more sense in a sport bike.  It is especially disappointing after seeing the beautiful air-cooled Thunder Stroke 111 motor used in all the other new Indian models.

I think the motor in the Harley Street looks better than this and I am not a fan of the Street.

The view from the top looks like any old boring metric cruiser and the colors in the speedometer faceplate strangely don't match anything else on the bike.

Overall, I find the bike too chunky-looking for my taste.  The angle of the rear shocks is particularly bizarre.  They said it was to be reminiscent of the lines of the frame of vintage Scouts.  To me, it's just weird and doesn't look like it would function properly.

It's difficult to see in the photo, but I thought the Indian logo in the taillight was a nice detail.

I believe most people ride Harleys because they love Harleys.  I've watched enough American Pickers to know many people feel the same about Indians.

Love is an irrational thing.

I don't think people choose Harley for modern performance and innovation.  Maybe they did in the past, but those days are long gone (with the possible exception of Project Livewire).  I see Harley and Indian as brands with amazing histories whose newer bikes strive for classic, timeless style mixed with modern reliability.  When you abandon the focus on style and pursue performance, there's simply no way to catch up to what the Ducatis, Yamahas, Suzukis, and Hondas of the world are doing (among others).  It's not to say that I wouldn't like some better shocks or brakes on my Sporty, but leave the motor alone.  It's the heart and soul of the bike and, when you really think about it, that's what you fall in love with.

More photos (and fewer ramblings) from First Thursday are up next.
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