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Showing posts from September, 2015

What it's Like to Crash a Motorcycle

“Damn it. John Burns thinks I’m a dick.”
That was one of the predominant thoughts going through my head as I slid down a Florida highway at 60 mph back in March.
It’s weird how the mind works. Time slows in a crash. Every tiny image burns into memory, so your brain can replay it over and over and over at night for the next who knows how many weeks.
In the moments before I crashed, I was riding the Harley-Davidson Street Rod along County Road 34 in central Florida. I’m not sure which county. The accident report simply records it as “County Code 61,” but the internet can’t agree on which county that is. Maybe I was in Indian River County; maybe I was in Suwannee County; maybe I was in Flagler County; I don’t know. I guess it doesn’t matter; I was somewhere. The road passing through that somewhere was long and straight – not the sort of place where one usually crashes – and the weather was perfect.

“My God, I am so happy,” I was thinking. “I am so incredibly lucky to be here – to live t…

Ride Review: Indian Chieftain

That screen, though.

I have quite a lot of good things to say about the Indian Chieftain –– it is, after all, easily one of the best motorcycles coming out of America at the moment –– but the bike's windscreen is so awful that, for me, it would be a potential deal breaker.

OK, I'm probably lying. If I somehow had enough money to buy a Chieftain I'd probably be so eager to own one that I could be placated with a free keychain or some other trinket. But I'd like to think I'd have the principle to insist that any dealership expecting me to fork out £20,500 (or $22,000 in the United States) for this bike must replace the screen at no additional cost.

I'd like to think that if they refused, I would have the testicular fortitude to walk right... across the showroom floor to cast an eye on the Victory Cross Country, which costs several thousand pounds/dollars/euros less.

After all, both motorcycles claim Polaris as their parent company, so they're effectively the…