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We touched on new models, Bill's Role, and the Future of Motorcycling

By Bandit and Queen La La of the Kingdom of Bikernet

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Bill, I would love to handle this in person, but you’re not down the street from me, so another time. Just a handful of questions:
What’s your primary role at Harley-Davidson? I’m the janitor of Bikernet and I don’t seen any promotions in the near future.

What are you riding now? I’m sure it’s a new model, but what do you plan to do with it—custom, styling or performance wise.

Any major adventures coming up for you, riding wise.

I’m sure the engine will be picked apart at the press launch, but I find the motorcycle ergonomics to be a key issue with Harleys. Is this aspect being addressed.

As you know, I’ve been involved in motorcycling freedom most of my adult life. To my way of thinking the EPA and performance regulations could be a critical factor for our future, the future of all performance products and the aftermarket, both for us and the auto industry. What can we do?

We are all being challenged by rapidly changing technology and social media. We are faced with a myriad of new questions about our industry. On the other side of the coin new enthusiasts are flying into our industry and headed in more directions than ever before from the bobber builder, the chopper builder, flat track racing, touring, adventure touring, outlaw clubs, Sons of Anarchy fans (Dyna riders), café racers, HOG members, drag racers, you name it. These are all opportunities for Harley to shine. Is there a mantra there somewhere?

One final question. My grandson recently bought a late model Dyna. He told me he needed to ride daily to escape the trials of life, but he surprised me with his conclusion. He said, “When I ride I think of only one thing, not getting hit.”

I was blown away. It made me think of my mantras over the years, the search for action, adventure, love, and escape on the road. Sure, I thought about the threats of dense LA traffic, but that was never my priority.

It brought to life my concerns about our brethren of the road and our relationship with the general public and motorists. We have always been challenged with this delicate relationship. Recently lane-splitting has been discussed and immediately a general press article attacked lane-splitting as a cause of many accidents. It was way off base. When the topic of lane splitting emerged in other states last year I was concerned. I felt we needed a major awareness campaign directed to the public on the benefits of lane-splitting for motorists and motorcyclists. As you probably know there are many.

This is just one example of how we need to address public concerns regarding motorcycling issues about helmets, loud pipes, you name it. I guess my question is. Should H-D, and or motorcyclist rights groups take an active role in educating the public about the many aspects of riding? Could we inspire the public to become riders and open the door to Freedom of the road and the notion that Freedom matters?

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