Before You Enter the World of Motorcycles

2 the Harley 72 in green

Are you born to be wild? Does the winding, twisting asphalt call your name? Are you anxious to get to your mid-life crisis so you can finally have an excuse to buy that motorcycle you’ve always wanted? I’ve got good news for you. There is no need to wait for a crisis, mid-life or otherwise, before you get your hands on the ride of your dreams. You can buy one right now and feel good about it. Every time you choose to ride a motorcycle instead of an SUV, you conserve resources and reduce traffic congestion. Not to mention, they are a heck of a lot of fun to ride.

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Making Men’s Hobbies Affordable

Triumph Thruxton-4

Listen, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from – as a man, you have interests and hobbies, and those are going to cost you money no matter which way you swing it. Men’s lifestyle choices can be costly, even if you are on a budget. Still, let’s have a look a some of these things that lots of guys love to do, and determine how you can ensure these hobbies don’t impact your good financial standing.

Car and Motorcycle Collections

If you are a guy who likes fast cars and bikes, then it’s a hobby that is naturally expensive. After all, you’ve got to purchase the vehicle, put fuel in it, put cash out for routine maintenance, and buy lots of fun things to keep it looking pretty. Not to mention the cost of insurance, and you’re sure to go all out and not pinch pennies here when you’re talking about a vehicle that is your baby.

Whether you’re driving your car or motorcycle on the road, on the track, or working on it in your garage, ensure that you stick to a budget in all areas. Routine maintenance may be necessary, but if it pushes your budget, then you don’t need to break the bank to put in a new sound system, or replace the tires when the ones you have on are doing just fine. And, for those things that you do need, you can shop around for better deals.

Sporting Activities

Who doesn’t like to hit the gym, get on the football field for some good old-fashioned downtime, or even just make some informed brackets for March Madness? While these activities may keep you and your boys active and well-socialized (especially when there are drinks available to be had as part of the package), the costs of these activities add up. Take advantage of free activities! Click here for a free March Madness competition that could get you to the Final Four.

If golf is your activity of choice, then you’ve got to pay for your tee time, every single time you hit the course, or you’ve got to invest in a membership. If you’re playing with an organized sports team, then you have a cost of registration.

Then, on top of the basic costs to play, you’ve got all the gear. While men might give women trouble for their love of shopping at the malls, we all know guys enjoy spending cash in other areas – getting the best equipment for hobbies and sports. Of course, the equipment falls in the “necessity” category, so don’t worry, we have your backs there. But, you’ve still got to watch so you don’t go overboard.

When it comes to golfing, look for special deals or offers at courses during the less busy season or less popular times. Or, look for course trying to recruit new members for special introductory prices to play.

Drinking Beer

Well, we aren’t here to judge, and we know that some guys simply like to do just about anything that they can do with a beer in their hand. So go for it, as long as you’re drinking responsibly, there’s really no harm (except, maybe to your liver if you engage a little too often). If you want to drink on the cheap, have your beer at home, during happy hours, or even better, find a way to brew it yourself!


Sunday Reading: Father’s Day, Tyrion Lannister and Génesis Rodríguez

Hopefully you’ve realized that this is Father’s Day and you’ve already picked up some cool gifts. If not, check out our guide for some last minute gift ideas, and you can always go with booze, though in some areas you can’t buy it on Sundays.

Looking back on the week, season two of “Game of Thrones” came to an end, and Nate Kreichman took at look back at the highlights of another excellent season. Tyrion Lannister (played by Emmy Award winning actor Peter Dinklage) is probably our favorite character on TV these days, as his approach to life in many ways mirrors that of our staff.

You might remember the lovely Génesis Rodríguez from her season 7 appearances on Entourage, and Bob Westal caught up with her in connection with her role opposite budding Latin American leading man Will Ferrell (pronounced “Wheel Fer-all”) in the over-the-top Spanish language Mexploitation/telenovela spoof, “Casa de mi Padre.” Check out our 5 questions interview with Génesis.

You can also check out our review of the Entourage Season 8 DVD. It wasn’t the best season for that show, so you might want to check out Season 8 of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” instead.

It’s hard to believe that “Dallas” has been revived with Bobby and J.R. Ewing coming back with a new crop of young soap-opera styled actors and actresses. This naturally inspired Will Harris to take a look back at some other famous and not-so-famous TV revivals.

Joe Gustafson has a great piece on the Triumph Bonneville and how it brings 60s cool to the new millennium. You can find stories on more bikes on our new motorcycle channel.

For our car review last week we had the BMW 335i Sedan, which naturally put a smile on our reviewers face. Also, publisher Gerardo Orlando flew out to Salt Lake City this past week to drive the 2013 Mustang Boss on a race track, so check back next week for that story.

Meanwhile, in theaters, “Rock of Ages” is a dud according to David Medsker.


Harlistas in East LA: Harley-Davidson showcases the new Seventy-Two Sportster

American motorcycle legend Harley-Davidson hosted an event for its latest Sportster model, the “Seventy-Two,” and was invited to ground zero of Latino motorcycle culture in East LA for the press launch and cultural immersion. The “72,” with its stylistic nod to hi metal flake custom paint and chrome so popular with the Latino low riders of Wittier Blvd., has made this one of Harley’s most splashy and eye-catching Sportster models to date.

Our first stop was the Harley-Davidson dealership in Glendale on the outskirts of downtown LA for a review of the Harley family of motorcycles for 2012 and our first glimpse of the new Seventy-Two model. This strikingly flashy Sportster is sure to get attention at any stoplight but is also within the most reasonably priced group of Harleys. The “72” boasts a hugely attention-getting hi metal flake red paint job, in Hard Candy Big Red Flake, the Evo 1200 cc V- twin, mini ape handle bars and a peanut gas tank. Forward foot controls and a low 28” seat height give laid back rider comfort, and the high torque output (73 pd-ft) in the low/mid RPMs lends the bike to impressive acceleration on the low end of the spectrum. The MSRP is $10,499 for the standard paint, and if you want the Hard Candy Big Red Flake, it has an MSRP of $11,199.

Tipping the scales at a modest 545lbs, this bike feels even lighter than it is, with a chopper fork rake, aluminum head and cylinders, skinny white wall wheels and narrow frame. The Sportster family has always been my favorite, with its nimble design and attractive low price, and it was always the most fun to drive. This is a bike either sex can easily operate with ease, the low un-sprung weight and laid back low seat height making it fun to buzz around in on a whim.

Soon after the showroom tour we were given an informative presentation of the Latino and Harley cultural marriage here in East LA. For more than 50 years, Latin American Harley riders have been proudly calling themselves Harlistas, and we were about to go on an enlightening tour of Los Angeles, with all things Latin and Harley mixed in!

Latino culture has profoundly shaped California and LA in particular, and the Latino culture loves the concept of Harley as it symbolizes freedom, individually and a sense of family – the Harley family. We visited several cultural highlights of East LA, including the LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, the Chicano murals of Boyle Heights, Candelas Guitars and a stop at Cities Restaurant, complete with authentic Mexican premium tequila tasting, courtesy of paQui Tequila! The food and subsequent tequila shots were delicious, and we boarded the tour bus for the afternoon stops.

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A Buffet of Bikes: A day at the Triumph Factory Demo Tour

Triumph knows a thing or two about comebacks. The British motorcycle manufacturer is one steeped in history, but not tied to tradition. They are well known for their historic bikes such as the Bonneville. However, after falling on hard times, they were reborn in the early ‘90s as a full-fledged modern manufacturer. Now, they offer a comprehensive line of bikes that both harken back to their past and compete with the best of the present.

Comebacks are more important than ever since the great recession. There’s an even greater effort now to draw new customers and younger riders onto a company’s bikes since the poor economy wiped out many repeat motorcycle customers. The reason for this is because many of those customers heavily financed their bike loans through their houses. I don’t think I need to tell you how that story ends after 2008. To cope, there are a few ways motorcycle companies are attempting to draw attention to their products in a continually shrinking marketplace. Some are offering new bikes at a cheaper price point. Others are making their new and existing products more visible through more aggressive marketing campaigns. However, the few and the brave are actually putting their bikes in the hands of these riders through riding events. One such company is Triumph with their Factory Demo Tour events.

Here’s how it works. First, go to the event’s website. Then, find a dealership using the tool on the site. The website will show you which dealers are holding the event and when. You can also choose which bikes you would like to ride. The best part is that it is all completely free. Don’t feel like registering beforehand? You can show up to the event as well with no prior reservation. However, the event fills up fast, so you may want to register beforehand and get there early to get the bikes you want. This specific event ran from 8a.m.-4p.m., and you can stay or go at any time. However, get there early if you are motivated to ride a specific bike.

There are some requirements to attend, but no more than what is common sense. First, you must have a valid motorcycle license. Second, you must wear the proper gear. Leave the flip-flops and shorts at home, squids. Proper gear means a DOT certified helmet, long pants, long-sleeved shirt, closed-toed shoes and motorcycle gloves. The shirt and long pants do not have to be motorcycle specific gear, but it is highly recommended. Plus, if you call ahead to the dealer you’re going to, you may be able to rent an item or two. Finally, there is no reckless riding. You ride in a group around 10-15 strong while being escorted by staff. If you get separated from the group (cough, like me, cough), there are plenty of escorts to take you through the full route and bring you back to the starting point. But is the event any fun? That’s what I set to find out when I went to Motoworks in Chicago.

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