As much as we wanted to spend more time in the maritimes of Canada, New Yorks Time Square, the Indian and Victory factory and of course the 75th Anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally were reaching out to us. Time was getting short so we put the hammer down and started rolling down the highway as we continue Part 7 Worlds Longest Motorcycle Demo Ride.
The Road to Sturgis
We crossed into the USA at Calais Maine and took one last backroad before the next couple day’s Interstate run down to New York City and the infamous Time Square. Although we don’t normally like the Interstate we had planned to take much of this highway system on our way to Sturgis, through the northern states. We rolled through Boston on our way to Foxboro where Angela had her front tire replaced and we spent time at one of the biggest Victory-Indian dealerships in the USA; MOMS.
Arriving in New York City, Parked in Time Square!
Leaving Foxboro a little late brought us into Manhattan, Central Park and Time Square right at rush hour. It took us more than two hours to get from Central Park to Time Square. The temperature was about 90° the humidity was about 80% and the bikes were running super hot but we were determined. Eventually fighting through the traffic and the crowds we seen an opening, split the crowds and drove the Indian and Victory right into Time Square, much to the chagrin of the NYPD and all of the tourists. Angela and I were smiling and laughing like a couple giddy school kids. We spent some time getting pictures, doing a little bit of filming, talking with a few people until the NYPD escorted us out of the square with smiles on their faces as well. Riding our bikes to time square and actually parking them at that location has always been on our BIKE-IT LIST, a big one checked off and one that we are both very proud of. It did not matter that we had to ride well into the night to find an affordable motel room somewhere outside the reaches of New York City. Cool beans.
The next few days took us across many states including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and eventually Spirit Lake Iowa, the home of the Victory and Indian manufacturing and Assembly plant.
Victory and Indian Assembly Plant, Spirit Lake Iowa
One of the main focuses of the Worlds Longest Motorcycle Demo Ride was to tour the factory where our Victory Magnum and Indian Chieftain were made.
This was no easy feat. At the time that we arrived at the factory it was closed to public tours due to the fact they were releasing the new 2016 models. Security was tight and the unveiling of the new models was to happen in Sturgis in a few days. With some gentle prodding from people way above our pay scale we were finally granted a private tour, thank you to all who helped make this happen.
We were greeted at the door by Dale Garrett one of the unit managers of the plant. After excitedly signing confidentiality papers and putting on some PPE he escort us into the plant. Dales extensive knowledge of the assembly and manufacturing process made it easy for us to have any questions answered easily. Dale walked us up and down the Indian scout line, the Indian and victory line and also the sling shot line. We were amazed at how clean and how much technology has played a role in making the modern motorcycles. In saying that we were able to talk to many employees and interact with them as they did their day to day work. We were pleasantly surprised on how much hands on work is done in the plant. It was really exciting to see the start of the line and the finish product of the line as well as the impressive quality control processes they have in place.
After more than two hours touring the facility, we said our goodbyes to Dale with great thanks and admiration of a modern American manufacturing and assembly plant. If you are ever in that area of Iowa be sure to contact them and arrange a public tour as they do have them often, you will be rewarded.
Klock Werks Pre-Sturgis party
We excitedly left Iowa and pointed our trusted steeds west on the I-90 with Mitchell SD as the destination. Mitchell is not only famous for the corn palace but more importantly the home of Klock Werks. For those who are not familiar with Klock Werks they have the patented flare windshields that they manufacture and produce for most motorcycles. They also carry and manufacture many other accessories for most American made motorcycles. The Klock Werks family including their children are also famous for their need for speed and between Laura, her daughters and Brian they have set many world records on the Bonneville Salt Flats.
Over the last number of years the Klock Werks and their employees have held a Pre-Sturgis party at their shop. We were lucky enough to be able to attend this year. One of the special events happening at this years Pre-Sturgis party was the unveiling of two recently built motorcycles. These are not just any motorcycles they were built under the guidance of Laura Klock and her program Helping with Horsepower. This program encourages younger females who may possibly have been in a negative place in their life, learn about motorcycles. The program is administered at a place called Abbott House in Mitchell South Dakota. The two bikes that were unveiled and aptly named Second Chances will be raffled off in October with all proceeds going to the Helping with Horsepower program. We encourage you to click this link and buy a ticket for this great program.
We were fortunate enough to spend some time with Laura and Brian and many other guests at their shop and we highly recommend stopping in and saying hello if you’re ever through that area.
Sleep seemed to come early as the next days ride was to Sturgis South Dakota and 75th Anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
Yahoo Sturgis here we come!
Indian Chieftain and the importance of the Owner Manual
Up early one day somewhere in Iowa I decided to pull the owners manual for the Indian to search for some forgotten item. I believe I was looking for electronic information on some of the settings. I easily found what I was looking for and just about had a heart attack at something else I glanced over! You see I was always perplexed that the Indian Chiefain did not have a USB charging device or somewhere you could plug in your electronics to play music through the radio or at the very least charge your phone while riding. Fortunately I just realized that there is a spot on the Chieftain that does this very task. Funny after riding 20,000kms on this bike and I did not recheck the owners manual. But there it was on the bottom right-hand side of the faring there is a small compartment with a USB outlet and a place to put your phone or iPod or any other type of electronics, I bow my head and laughed to myself as I am only human I suppose and what it tells me is you should always read your owners manual fully over and over again. A humbling lesson for me.