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  • MotorGrrl LLC in Brooklyn, New York is a community garage and its owner, Valerie Figarella explains how her unique business model is changing the perception of the motorcycle community. Full details in this 4:00 video clip: http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/5810398320001/?#sp=show-clips
  • Bikes of all shapes for riders of shorter size By: Seth Richards There’s this notion that if you’re a shorter rider, you’re resigned to riding namby-pamby cruisers or small-displacement entry-level bikes. The feeling is that the motorcycle industry is saying “let them eat cake,” as it steers shorter folks towards the dusty diminu-cruiser (resplendent in chromed plastic and ‘80s styling) in the forgotten corner of the shop. If you went motorcycle shopping just a few years ago, you’d be excused for thinking the industry neglected the inseam challenged as it developed bigger and bigger bikes. I mean, have you seen the Ducati Multistrada Enduro and Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports? While a lot of entry-level, small-displacement motorcycles are great for shorter riders, there’s a whole wide world of bikes that are appealing to riders of all skill levels that happen to be suitable for shorter inseams. With that in mind, here’s a batch of new motorcycles that run the gamut from the obligatory entry-level bike to a 1,198cc power cruiser. Options abound, from the sporty, to the adventurous, to modern classics. It's 2018, OEMs are making bikes for the people. So have your cake and eat it too. For shorter riders, seat height isn’t the only factor to consider. An average seat height on a slender bike with a decent amount of squish in the suspension, for instance, can fit a shorter rider better than a firmly sprung, squat inline-four. If you’ve ever sat on an ADV bike with semi-active electronic suspension set in off-road mode, you’ll know the seat can seem surprisingly reasonable as it squats beneath your weight. So don’t just look at a bike and automatically discount it. Sit on it and remember that setting suspension sag for your weight will help. Overall comfort is contingent on ergonomics that don’t stretch the rider out. A comfortable reach to the bars and pegs is as important as a reasonable seat height. In other words, that slammed chopper may have an ultra-low seat height but its forward controls obviate it from being an ideal option. Here are our genre-spanning picks for the best new motorcycles for shorter riders. Triumph’s 1,200cc Bonneville T120 has a very rational 31.1-inch seat height, but the 900cc Street Twin bests it with a saddle only 29.5 inches above the ground. All but the shortest riders will be able to flat-foot it on the Street Twin, thanks to its narrow parallel-twin engine and slender tank. If it didn’t go against the “no cruisers allowed” premise of this story, I’d point out that the Triumph Bonneville Bobber’s seat is a mere 27.1 inches tall. The Street Twin is classic and capable. Go swing a leg over one and let us know what you think. ADVs tend to be the tallest bikes on the market, but the new Tiger 800 XRx LRH brings things down to earth. That LRH designation stands for Low Ride Height. In the lowest of its two positions, the XRx’s seat height is lower than 30 inches—that’s 2 inches lower than the lowest seat height of the standard XR and 3 inches shorter than the XC’s shortest seat height. Triumph achieved this by reshaping the saddle and by giving the LRH its own set of suspension built just for the purpose. Way to go, Triumph. It’s just one more reason to love a bike that’s already easy to love . Ducatis tend to be narrow because of their V-twin powerplants. The Diavel is certainly not the most svelte of its breed, but its low 30.3-inch seat height makes up for it. Unlike the XDiavel’s forward controls, the standard Diavel’s more neutral riding position may be more suitable for shorter inseams. Even better news, Ducati has confirmed there will be an updated Diavel for 2019 , which means you’ve got options: Get the updated model with variable valve timing, or find a bargain on a leftover 2018 model. The Moto Guzzi V7 is an archetypal motorcycle. It looks like a motorcycle should look, but its cylinders thrusting out the sides make it quirky. It’s a Guzzi. The V7’s otherwise classic layout makes it a good option for shorter riders: not too tall seat, pretty narrow saddle, standard seating position. Done. There’s something about the cylinder heads sticking out in the wind that’s vintage Italian. Salesmen who see my beard and Red Wings immediately peg me as a Scrambler man, and to their credit, when I pull myself away from the superbikes, I can’t help but sit on every Scrambler model in the shop. For research, you know. The Scrambler’s narrow tank, cushy seat, and plush suspension make the bike seem super approachable. On a never-ending quest to wear my wife down enough to get her into motorcycling, I always cajole her into swinging a leg over a Scrambler. “Just imagine,” I say, “romantic after-dinner rides around the countryside to go get ice cream. You in a cool leather biker jacket.” “Never gonna happen,” she says. She placates me by admitting she likes the Scrambler, though. At 5-foot-5 she can comfortably straddle the thing. If only I could get her to actually ride one. My persistence eventually wore her down enough to date me, so maybe there’s hope after all… Here’s the obligatory entry-level bike. In addition to its 31.5-inch seat height, Honda’s “Neo-Sports Café”motorcycle has a super-narrow saddle and slender, sculpted tank atop its single-cylinder powerplant. While a lot of beginner bikes look and feel bargain-basement and are about as stylish as a Kia rental car, the CB300R is genuinely handsome. It has an inverted fork, radial brakes, and cuts a dashing figure in “Chromosphere Red” or “Matte Gray Metallic.” Honestly, I take it as a sign that OEMs are beginning to realize that small-displacement and affordable motorcycles don’t have to be uninspiring turds made of pig iron and chintzy plastic. Just because riders want to flat-foot it at stoplights and pay cheap insurance premiums doesn’t mean they don’t care about quality touches and good looks. The little CB, at $4,649, is cheap, will probably be unkillable, and looks more premium than we’ve previously come to expect from the category. That’s good for all riders, regardless of height. When I rode the MT-07 in rain-drenched Spain , I couldn’t help but think it was the Universal Japanese Motorcycle of the 21st century. It’s a bargain on every level and pretty hard not to like. The engine’s 270-degree crank makes it engaging enough for experienced riders and its overall predictability makes it suitable for beginning riders. The parallel twin is a compact package that allows the MT to have a narrow seat and tank—perfect for moving around on the bike and finding your footing at stops. The great thing about the Ninja 400 is that its sportiness isn’t just skin-deep. It was designed to be a legitimate sportbike—just a smaller, less focused one . Compared to the Kawasaki ZX-6R, its seat is close to an inch lower, and at 366 pounds (claimed), it’s more than 60 pounds lighter. So if you get the bike off center, it will be that much easier to save.
  • Business Wire September 5, 2018 MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Restyled Fairing & Saddlebags, Combined with New Features, Offer Riders a More Streamlined, Aggressive Style New PowerBand™ Audio Upgrade Package is Loudest Audio System in Indian Motorcycle History Indian Motorcycle, America’s first motorcycle company founded in 1901, today announced a redesigned Chieftain lineup. Since its debut in 2013, the Chieftain has consistently won high marks for handling, power and comfort. Now, for 2019, the Indian Chieftain, Chieftain Dark Horse and Chieftain Limited feature more streamlined, aggressive styling that reflects the bike’s well-established performance capabilities. For those loyal to Indian’s classic designs, the 2019 Indian Chieftain Classic will continue to feature its traditional fairing and iconic valanced front fender. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180905005324/en/ The redesigned Chieftain lineup continues an evolution that started in 2017 with the introduction of the 10-spoke, 19-inch contrast-cut front wheel and open fender on the Chieftain Limited and Chieftain Elite. The response from customers was overwhelmingly positive, paving the way for this lineup expansion. “As we continue to evolve the Indian Motorcycle brand, we want to expand our lineup with more aggressive style options, while still maintaining the availability of our more classic style options,” said Reid Wilson, Senior Director for Indian Motorcycle. “What’s most important to us is developing motorcycles that meet a wide variety of customer style preferences, and Chieftain’s new look does just that.” At first glance of the new Chieftain, riders will notice a restyled fairing and saddlebags with sharper lines and harder edges that give the bike a commanding presence and more streamlined look. A trimmed and slimmed fairing, paired with full LED lighting and new fork guards, delivers a streamlined front-end package that’s indicative of the bike’s impressive performance capabilities. The Chieftain’s new, slammed saddlebags with color-matched fender closeouts also provide a sleek and custom-inspired look. While the new Rogue gunfighter seat gives the bike a sleek, low-slung stance, Chieftain maintains its superior handling and comfort with more than four inches of rear suspension travel. New badging on the tank and saddlebags and the iconic Indian headdress on the front fender complete the package. In addition to the styling and design enhancements, the 2019 Chieftain lineup features new ride-enhancing technology for increased performance customization and rider comfort. For a more customized ride experience, riders can now choose between three Ride Modes – Tour, Standard or Sport. The throttle map for each Ride Mode was designed with a specific application in mind, resulting in one bike with three distinct personalities. All 2019 Chieftains are also equipped with Rear Cylinder Deactivation for increased rider comfort when the bike is stationary. Also new for 2019, the Chieftain Dark Horse lineup expands with new paint options, including White Smoke, Bronze Smoke and Thunder Black Smoke. More than just matte-finish body paint, the 2019 Chieftain Dark Horse now features premium black ceramic exhaust and gloss black finishes on the primary cover, valve covers, push-rod tubes, cam cover, and saddlebag hinges for a custom, blacked-out look. Several enhancements have also been made to Indian Motorcycle’s stock audio system to significantly improve sound quality. First, the tweeters have been separated from the mid-range speakers to optimize sound output and clarity. Second, a dynamic equalizer that’s fully customizable now adjusts specific frequencies at different vehicle speeds to provide peak system performance at all times. As speed increases, the equalizer automatically adjusts each frequency to the optimal level to compensate for road, wind and engine noise. The result is crystal-clear, 100-watts of premium audio at all speeds. In summary, the 2019 Chieftain lineup packs a host of new features, including: A restyled fairing and saddlebags that reflect Chieftain’s performance capabilities A new Rogue gunfighter seat that enhances the bike’s sleek profile New front and rear turn signals and full LED lighting New ride-enhancing technology that provides a customizable ride experience with three Ride Modes and Rear Cylinder Deactivation for improved rider comfort Enhanced stock, 100-watt premium audio system for crystal-clear sound at all speeds Also new for 2019, Indian Motorcycle introduces its loudest audio system to date. With PowerBand™ Audio, riders can choose from audio configurations that are up to 50 percent louder than stock audio. The system is engineered with an integrated amp on speaker and does not require additional amps. The premium audio package is fully integrated with Indian Motorcycle® Ride Command® so that when PowerBand™ Audio speakers are installed, Ride Command® automatically recognizes the upgrade and takes the equalizer from five bands to nine bands with additional pre-set options and volume control. Riders can choose from three kits - PowerBand Audio™ (fairing upgrade), PowerBand™ Audio Plus (fairing and saddlebag upgrade) and PowerBand™ Audio Plus with accessory trunk (fairing, saddlebag and accessory trunk upgrade). Riders can further customize their Chieftain with a variety of accessories, including performance packages from Stage 1, 2 and 3 featuring exhaust, air intakes, cams and the 116 ci big bore kit. Custom fit options like extended and reduced reach seats, mid-rise handlebars and reduced reach handlebars are also available. Color-matched accessories such as Hard Lower Fairings, Saddlebag Audio Lids, a Quick Release Trunk, and for the Chieftain Classic owners, a 10-spoke 19-inch contrast-cut wheel with an open fender can be added to give your bike a custom look. Pricing for the 2019 Chieftain begins at $21,999 in the U.S. and $26,999 in Canada, while the Chieftain Dark Horse starts at $25,999 in the U.S. and $32,499 in Canada. Indian’s Chieftain Limited is available starting at $25,999 in the U.S. and $32,499 in Canada. Pricing for the Chieftain Classic begins at $24,999 in the U.S. and $31,499 in Canada. Arriving at dealerships now, riders can learn more or test ride by visiting a local Indian Motorcycle dealership. For more information on the 2019 Chieftain lineup, or to find the nearest dealer, visit IndianMotorcycle.com and follow along on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram . ABOUT INDIAN MOTORCYCLE® Indian Motorcycle Company is America’s First Motorcycle Company®. Founded in 1901, Indian Motorcycle has won the hearts of motorcyclists around the world and earned distinction as one of America’s most legendary and iconic brands through unrivaled racing dominance, engineering prowess and countless innovations and industry firsts. Today that heritage and passion is reignited under new brand stewardship. To learn more, please visit www.indianmotorcycle.com .