Archive for August, 2014

Harley 2015 model range evolution

Posted in Harley-Davidson, Uncategorized on August 29, 2014 by bleiglass

It is interesting to look into more detail in the model range evolution of Harley-Davidson. It seems there is a strong strategy behind this, with a clear differentiation between markets and models.

What happened in 2015? Lets forget about the return of the Road Glide, that was expected is is good news, but the real changes happen at the borders of the range: the small Streets and the 3 wheeler.

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Europe does not get the Freewheeler in 2015. Will they ever? Hard to say, but the US is trike country, not Europe, and to promote their acceptance here, they are build and registered to be drivable (you drive them, don’t ride them) with a car license. To achieve this within the strict EU regulations, Harley-davidson had to disable the mean headlight, as “cars” are not allowed to have a central light. As usual, bureaucratic rules doe not contribute to the balance and beauty of anything, not even a trike.

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The central piece is a distorting mirror of chrome, while the left and right passing lights are proper headlights.

Looking at the beautiful less bulky new Freewheeler, you quickly see the problem:

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With its Fat Boy style front lights, there is no way to get a homologation in Europe to drive it with a car licence. It will be interesting to see how Harley-Davidson will solve this.

Now, is the model range 2015 the start of the death of the Sportster?

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Maybe, though the so much loved Sportster 883R was already missing from the US range in 2014. But the Streets are clearly coming, and that is maybe good news. While their launch in Europe is gradual, first Street 750 only in continental Europe, then hopefully soon the UK), I fear the days of some Sportster models are counted. So get the best commuter Harley-Davidson now – the 883 Roadster may soon be gone…

The 883R was displayed at the Nashville dealers meeting, photo by Garry Knowles

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71ºN – Nordkapp

Posted in Uncategorized on August 17, 2014 by bleiglass

I am so sorry, I really neglect this blog, but let me quickly report about my second BIG ride of the year 2014, the ride up to Nordkapp. The steep 1000 feet high cliff of North Cape is often (mistakenly) referred to as the northernmost point of Europe, located at 71°10′21″N 25°47′40″E, about 2,102.3 kilometres (1,306.3 mi) from the North Pole. In truth the neighbouring Knivskjellodden point, just to the west actually extends 1,457 metres (4,780 ft) farther to the north.

6 of us planned this 5,000 mile ride also as a challenge, by now raising over £6,000 for our charities. The challenge was the daily distance of ride, we like extremes, and the average was 436 miles over 11 days.  Here our cheat sheet of the ride:

nordkappblog1The photo galleries are split into 4 sections, as was the ride, 4 days getting to the Arctic Circle, 4 days above the arctic circle, and 4 days again south of the Arctic Circle getting home.

Part 1: Denmark and Sweden, with a visit to the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen

nordkappblog2Day 1 > Dunkerque (F), 113 miles, via (B) & (NL)
Day 2 > Handewitt (D), 669 miles
Day 3 > Nykoping (S), via Copenhagen (DK), 1,228 miles
Day 4 > Umea (S), 1,708 miles

See all photos here: http://hogsbackchapteruk.smugmug.com/2014/71ºN-Nordkapp-Part-1-3-6-Jul/

Part 2: was the northwards crossing of the Arctic Circle in Sweden, riding through and staying one night in Finland, and reaching Nordkapp after over 2,400 miles on Day 6. We had exceptional sunny weather all the way, except for 1 day when heavy fog hit Nordkapp, so our most important picture around the globe and the midnight sun in the background is a bit blurred.

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Day 5 > Enontekio (FIN), 2,129 miles
Day 6 > Nordkapp (N), 2,421 milestone

See all photos here: http://hogsbackchapteruk.smugmug.com/2014/71ºN-Nordkapp-Part-2-7-8-Jul/

Part 3 & 4 were the most beautiful and scenic streches of the ride, down the coast of Norway.

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Day 7 > Tromso (N), 2,831 miles
Day 8 > Rokland (N), 3,148 miles

See all photos here: http://hogsbackchapteruk.smugmug.com/2014/71ºN-Nordkapp-Part-3-9-10-Jul/

And once through the Artcic Circle southwards, one started to feel the approaching end of a truly epic ride.

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Day 9 > Trondheim (N), 3,573 miles
Day 10 > Oslo (ferry), 3,887 miles
Day 11 > Ladbergen (D), 4,326 miles
Day 12 > back home, 4,802 miles

See all photos here: http://hogsbackchapteruk.smugmug.com/2014/71ºN-Nordkapp-Part-4-11-14/

I will soon post a more detailed report, written by the birthday kid Robin. Turning 60, riding to the Nordkapp was the most urgent thing to get off his Bucket List.

71ºN – Nordkapp