How It’s Going to Be

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“I have seen the past and its future is looking bright.” There are certain events or objects we encounter that evoke a sense of where we came from and where we are going, and in the re-introduction of the Indian® Motorcycle brand, we have seen the past and it is truly the sign of things to come. So, is it possible to hold the idea of “days gone by” in your hand, and feel the same wind as it brushed up against those early riders of this iconic Indian® motorcycle? Of course it is. The Thunder Stroke™ 111 easily pulls you into the here and now.

Few brands have this kind of power. The power to move us physically and the power to evoke emotion. After all, it is those two elements that have caused hearts to beat faster and memories to be made. Memories that withstand time. Just like an old, dog-eared black and white photograph that speaks volumes about its subject; the stories, the people and the times, all in a single snapshot that only took seconds to create. That split second, when time stood still, has preserved the moment for all to see. Indian® Motorcycles were there. There when life was hard and the people were harder and on the verge of there own destiny, much like we are today. We take it all for granted, but as they lived in the early 1900’s things were happening and happening fast. They too, took it for granted.

We are no different from our predecessors. We seek the freedom and adventure that life brings to us every day, and we desire what the future brings – without giving up our past. The past that defines us and made us who we are; Enthusiasts. We “make history” each time we ride, only we aren’t aware of when exactly it’s happening. It just happens. Somewhere, someone is taking that memorable photo right now that will be looked upon by another generation and their reaction will be the same then, as it is for us today. A different time and a different place, telling stories of how it used to be. Or rather how it’s going to be?

I believe Indian® Motorcycles are here to stay. Over the years they have come and gone, much like a dream with hopes of “someday.” But today is that day. History has repeated itself and Indian® Motorcycles has a future derived from a time when pride, excitement and a passion was the main ingredient to ingenuity. Just like it is today.

Moving Bodies and Souls – 110 Years

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One-hundred and ten years is a long time in anyone’s book, especially when it comes to building motorcycles. It’s hard enough to feel passionate about anything for so long let alone beyond generations. That’s why you have enthusiasts building motorcycles for enthusiasts because nobody else can. Some dreams die with the dreamers, but in the case of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company it has kept the dream alive in all of us. In a time when wool suits were the proper riding apparel to ride your motorcycle, Harley-Davidson has been there to see the transformation of the culture and lifestyle of bikers to where it is today. Roads were being built, highways were being connected and destinations became real. What started out as a different kind of transportation 110 years ago, became a form of recreation and a lifestyle for so many. A combination of steel and style moves a nation both physically and emotionally and Harley-Davidson Motorcycles have been there through it all.

Just as any company knows, as time ticks by there are ups and downs, twists and turns, but it turns out that is the exact same thing we enthusiasts seek out when it comes to the roads we travel. It is “the ride” that gets you through it and whether it’s business or pleasure, we take the road less traveled because it is who we are and always will be. Nobody said “the ride” would be easy, but if nothing else, it has always been fun. Moving bodies and souls at the same time was probably not something the Harley and Davidson boys thought much about, but that’s how things ended up. It is Harley-Davidson that represents this country in a way that only it can and it changes you. Freedom, Pride, Emotion and American are a few things that come to mind, and we haven’t even looked at what it’s done to so many from a life-changing experience – and Harley-Davidson Motorcycles change lives. It’s brought people together and created a community around the world to the point of being a universal language – and it knocks down walls that are invisible and man-made.

Nobody said it would be easy, because easy wasn’t a concern 110 years ago. You rolled up your sleeves and you worked hard. You got your hands dirty and you brought your lunch in a pale. You were happy to be working with your hands and you didn’t think about life 100 years from then; we still don’t. But we dreamed, and we still do. And it is dreams that makes this country great, so we keep dreaming. For every road we travel down on our Harley-Davidson, someone before us has traveled that same road on their Harley-Davidson. Whether your ride in Rome Italy or Rome Wisconsin, there’s a good chance you’re not the first one there with your motorcycle. But knowing that also gives you a sense of belonging to something greater than the road traveled. It was created by men with a dream and a willingness to chase that dream on the creation before them. Just like we do today.

It has become a passion for which we have no control over. That passion is transformed into an expression of who we are, and where we are going – both in the sense of motion and emotion. To say Harley-Davidson has changed the way we put our lives into perspective would be an understatement. Some things have no explanation, and we accept that. This motorcycle has helped people through their ups and downs and the twists and turns that life has thrown at them, and it has been a member of the family that has been passed on through generations. It is a symbol and extension of our inner selves that only we know, and that only a few can understand.

So we ride. We ride like those did 110 years ago, and those that will ride when we no longer can. I’ve seen where Harley-Davidson has been, but I can’t see where this road will take us, but I guarantee it will be a great ride. Here’s to 100 more years Harley-Davidson!

This Life Of Mine

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I know it sounds crazy but I just don’t feel my age. It’s a younger me that rolls around in my head and there is a constant argument of how young I think I am, and the reality of how I look and feel on the outside. Let’s face it, I think I’m in my thirties and some would say I act even younger than that. What’s the old saying? “Act your age not your shoe size.” Well I would say I act a little older than ten and a half but not by much.

We all have those days when the mind and body are not talking to each other. It might be the weather, our health or it’s simply that time in our lives when no matter how hard we try we just can’t get ahead. Our mental state can be affected by just as much as our physical state. And those rare days when both are humming along at the same speed life is good!

So with age comes experience in life that we don’t have when we are young. But if you think about it, what is wrong with the youthful enthusiasm and curiosity that some lose as they get older? I can appreciate the experience I’ve acquired over the years but I still want to live my life and take some chances that I did when I was younger. I just don’t want to repeat the stupid mistakes that gave me the “life experience” to know better. We need to get that enthusiasm and curiosity back and take those chances with the experience that adulthood gives us to really find that perfect mix.

We all have our ways of feeling young. Some live vicariously through our kids, while some are active in their own forms of recreation. I ride motorcycles. I’ve been riding a long time and it has always been a way for me to connect to my youthful side. Do I think I could go out and win a few trophies at my age? Sure! The key word here is “think” and I do believe I could. Could I go out and ride hard enough to win? Maybe. Would I be embarrassed to try? No, I would always have my age to blame!

I think the secret to that youthful feeling is “living in the moment.” As kids or young adults, we specialized in living right there in the moment. Not worrying about yesterday or tomorrow, or even an hour ago or an hour from now, and that gives you sense of freedom. Some adults are still good at that. But for me? I go on worrying or at least thinking about adult things. For a short time while I’m riding my motorcycle that will usually go away. Right there in the moment, riding nowhere in particular, and for a brief time my head will clear. I’m sure if you had me hooked up to a machine you would see stuff like my heart rate go down, my bad cholesterol clear up, or my waist size shrink, who knows for sure. But one thing I will say is I feel better and I feel like a kid again.

I’m not suggesting we all go out and re-live our youth, that would spell trouble. What I think we need is a double-shot of whatever comes out of the fountain of youth. When I was young the fountain of youth must have been the end of the garden hose because I sucked on it all summer long. Whatever we do that gives us that feeling of “acting our shoe size” is exactly what we need to have that balance of our youth and adulthood. Don’t feel bad when your body says you “can’t”, it just hasn’t received the memo.