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Business Management

Potato-Potato…

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We like themes that tie everything together, so for this issue we’re focusing on V-twins – that quintessential American machine with the potato potato sound that most of us love, but drives your neighbors crazy.

My brother-in-law Randy rode his Victory Jackpot to Sturgis from Eugene, Ore. last year for the first time and said it was a trip of a lifetime. Many years earlier, his grandfather rode his Harley Knucklehead across the country in 1935 on the Gypsy Tour. He was a rebel without a cause and you could only imagine the adventures that he had back then.

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Guys like Cannonball Baker made cross country runs seem like the thing to do. They didn’t have much gear and certainly the roads weren’t what they are today. When Baker made his run and had his photo taken on that Indian, others wanted to emulate him, and it was some of the best advertising that the company from Springfield, Mass. could ever hope for (Speaking of Indian, check out this month’s OEM Update for one of the latest bikes from the re-born and revitalized Polaris-owned operation).

This brings us to the Best of the Web Awards, which features something a little different this year with an Editor’s Choice thrown in the mix. We wanted in on the action, too. We chose our Top 5 products from 2014 out of the candidates for our Reader’s Choice winners, which are chosen solely by the number of web pageviews. There were a lot of great products this past year to chose from but we came up with a highly technical formula, combing what you clicked on and what we thought was an innovative or noteworthy product for our lengthy decision-making process.

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I’m excited for 2015 and I think it’s going to be a good year. You know how I know this? Because the number of exhibitors making their first V-Twin Expo is up. The V-Twin Expo is to me the first barometer of how the market is going to perform for the year. The V-twin market has undergone quite a transformation from the last few years, and with exciting new bikes from Indian, Victory and Harley, it looks poised to take off in ’15.

A V-twin bike will always beg for customization, but it is how much and how extreme that has changed. Baggers and yard-sized front tires are en vogue right now, but what will be next?

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