Blog Reflection

This blog was a really great thing to do for a college kid to do. At first, I thought that this may not be a very good fit for me and though I wouldn’t like it. After a few posts, though, I started to enjoy the fact that I had my own personal blog full of my ideas for people to see publicly. Some people wouldn’t like to have their work be publicized but that is something that I thrive off of. It was really easy for me to write each post since the entirety of my blog was on a topic that I chose. I feel like writing a blog could be a great thing to do and I could see myself getting more serious about it later in life. It would be easier to write if it was something I could spend more time on.

I learned a lot of things about motorcycles and their advertisements through the process of writing a blog. I learned how motorcycles are depicted in society as well as how the riders are depicted in society. One thing is for sure, movies, TV shows, and advertisements totally blow things out of proportion and exaggerate the image of the motorcycle and it’s riders. I learned that motorcycles are a great leeway to get a message across in an advertisement by using their slick and fast characteristics to relate to a product. I learned that there are new innovations and changes in motorcycles themselves as well as how they are advertised to the public.

As far as learning about myself, I learned a ton about myself! I learned how much that I actually do love motorcycles and this blog makes me realize it more. Another thing I learned about is time management. This blog gave me a deadline for a blog portfolio so I had to learn how to manage my time wisely so I met the proper deadlines. Lastly, I learned that I am starting to use the AFOSP method when looking over my blog entries without even being told to. I learned that I can be  a much better writer when I write about something I am truly passionate about as well as something that is not usual in an English 101 class. No other 101 class would allow students to write about a pop culture topic of their choosing so I am very thankful!

I believe that writing this blog can help me grow as a writer and make me a better writer in the future. I think that changing it up a bit and writing a blog within an English class instead of essay after essay can help me be a versatile writer. It certainly has expanded my boundaries to talk about current and relatable things which is a good change from a standard essay and is a healthy exercise for a writer. Also, keeping up with a blog and writing constantly about a topic can help keep my writing abilities active. Also, writing about the same topic numerous times can ensure that every aspect of the topic is being explored.


Sons of Anarchy

Movies, TV shows and advertisements all depict motorcycles in a different way, most of which are quite a bit over board. Sons of Anarchy is a great example of how the media and pop culture today depicts what motorcycle riders are like. In episode one season one of Sons of Anarchy, motorcycles arent a predominant thing in the first episode. Despite the few appearances of the steel machines, they do represent one thing: a bond.

In order to view the first episode a Netflix account is needed or the episode needs to be purchased so I am unable to attach a video on this post!

Sons of Anarchy starts the season off right with a totally bad ass first episode with an intense opening scene! In summary, the first episode is all about a revenge plot against the Mayans, a rival gang, who stole and/or destroyed the Sons of Anarchy’s weaponry in a house fire. Motorcycles help give this overall serious and badass appearance through slow-motion cutscenes and cool camera views.

This first episode uses motorcycles to show a bond. In one way they convey a sense of brotherhood. The fact that they constantly wear their leather biker vests alone shows that bond through a brotherhood. Also, Jax, one of the starring roles, has the Sons of Anarchy symbol tattooed largely onto his back which is the symbol of brotherhood and bond. Another huge bond that the motorcycles form is a family bond.  Many times in the first episode, personal issues have come up in some of the members’ lives that might conflict with getting even with the Mayans. In such cases, members are supportive of other members that need to attend to these specific family matters. Yet, everybody within this family wants to be apart of getting revenge and do whatever the family needs them to do, so they are always together. Thats why they always ride together on their motorcycles as a family. One last form of bond is the form of a gang but in this episode the gang is a family business. In one part Clay says “Finish it” to Jax, meaning to kill the last survivor of the Mayans when they confronted them. This is a way of Jax proving their alliance loyalty with the motorcycle gang.

The most common view that society has on Harley Davidson riders specifically is that they are all a bunch of no-gooders and are generally all in a motorcycle gang.  For the most part, Sons of Anarchy supports this assumption very well! Yet, the one thing that this television series brings to the attention of the public is that motorcycles create a bond between every member in it, that is associated with family, brotherhood, and gang affiliated business.

Whats the difference anyway?

There are two types of street motorcycles today: sports bikes/crotch rockets and cruising relaxing motorcycles. To be more specific with brand names, Yamaha usually is in the street bike category and Harley Davidson tends to be in the cruising motorcycle category. It is clear, by each Yamaha’s and Harley’s advertisements, how their motorcycles differ from each other in big ways.

In the above video is an example of one of Harley Davidson’s motorcycle commercials. The advertisement has a sort of slow appeal to it. Harley wants to show people that their company is all about kicking back, putzing around and actually enjoying a nice ride on their motorcycle. With this sense of slowing down, there is an appreciation for the nicer aspects that Harley motorcycles have to offer. By doing so being slow could be a way of giving the rider a chance to look at the motorcycle and really appreciate the time and craftsmanship put into each individual bike. It also should be noted that the commercial has a lot of wooded background suggesting that Harley Davidson’s are perfect riding machines for long road trips. It is a way that they are showing the motorcycles’ close relationship with mother nature.

In the second video is an example of a Yamaha Ninja street bike advertisement. As you can see, there are big differences in this video. The main difference being tempo. The Yamaha commercial is trying to sell one thing, and that is speed. The way they do this is by taking their bike to a dangerous highway road with a professional driver and pushing the bike to the limit. Another thing different from the Harley advertisement is that the garb being worn by the Yamaha rider is covering every inch of his body, where the Harley advertisement has many riders with helmets that don’t cover the face completely. It gives the Yamaha riders an appearance of being a different person. Lastly, Yamaha suggests that their bikes will attract a crowd with its slick and sporty features where Harley doesn’t touch upon that as much.

Electric Motorcycles?

Image that your dreams when you were a kid finally came true! Imagine if the things depicted in video games actually came to life! In the attached video, a  electric motorcycle replica of the Tron “light cycle” has been constructed by the Parker Brothers Custom Choppers.

This is not any of your average motorcycles you see riding down the street, obviously. But beyond the physical appearance of this bike, the “light cycle” has something else hidden within that makes it revolutionary and truly special. The battery that powers this incredible machine is a lithium battery which is clean, efficient, and cheap! Evolve Electric Motorcycles, the company that sells and distributes these $55,000 gems, knows that times are hard with the economy and are making a movement to electric scooters and motorcycles that can be somewhat affordable to people as well as being clean to the environment. They want the decision being made for buying this motorcycle to not be a financial decision, rather, they want it to be a decision based off of beliefs and morals.

I believe that this will be a great start to environmentally friendly vehicles. I believe this is a great start because we are starting at something small: motorcycles. This could be a critical gateway to government officials, or whoever is skeptical about expensive fuel efficient vehicles, to show how well these motorcycles turn out and use them to  base further decisions and opinions about electric cars. Although  electric motorcycles may appeal to some, many stubborn people will not want an electric motorcycle or electric car. This is because even though electric engines are cleaner, lets just face it, they don’t have the same power as a combustion engine and therefore are less reliable for work. Not to mention they don’t have that sweet low growl of the engine that everybody loves so much!

Keep it simple!

When you think of roadways, what comes to mind? Roadways today, in every city around the globe, are poorly built to fit the needs of our growing world and that leads to road congestion.

Many ways to deal with this issue have been introduced, such as creating small taxes for vehicles that use roadways, like described in this TED Talk video. Rather than spend money on repairing roadways, a short-term method for the issue is to charge motorists 1-2 euros for driving. Although 1-2 euros don’t sound like much, it was enough to make 20% of vehicles disappear. Therefore 80% of traffic, a huge amount, still left on the roadways might seem to be a lot but it truly isn’t since traffic is a “non-linear phenomenon”. Meaning that even though such a low percentage of traffic was reduced, congestion will still go down overall. This shows how even the smallest fee can make a huge difference in motorist safety.

Interestingly enough, whenever the charges were dropped and put back on again, motorists would react accordingly and either get back on the roads when the charges no longer existed, or get off the roads when the charges were enforced. This solution is good and satisfies the overall goal to protect drivers that use roadways, especially motorcyclists who are very vulnerable. Surprisingly, motorists warmed up to the idea and started supporting this new driving fee. This resolution is incredibly simple and that is why it works wonders.

Two Brains, One Product.

“The beginning of any collaboration starts with a conversation”, explains Forrest North in this TED Talks video about motorcycle design. In the following TED video, two gentlemen by the names of Yves Behar and Forrest North decided to take their two engineering brains and put them together to create one unique design. Forrest being from Washington State and Yves being from Switzerland, this duo shows how easy it can be to become connected to people around the world. Both men were interested in new ways of travel. Forrest made a land-yacht and Yves made a single-manned sled vehicle. Both were also interested in creating vehicles that were safe for the environment using solar power and wind power. Then, they came together and thus combined engineering with design to create their baby: a pure-electric motorcycle with a top speed of 150 mph. In this day and age, it is not enough to just have engineering skills. Equally, you need to have somebody to design your thoughts and put them on paper as a visual. It was interesting that they called this motorcycle their baby. The word “baby” more or less shows how hard they worked on their motorcycle and really how much they love and cherish the end product.

First Motor Memory

As far as I can remember, cars have been a big part of my life. I never lived in a family that had racecar drivers or have any racing affiliation; yet, everyone in my family loves cars and motorcycles. The first spark for the want of a motorcycle for me started quite young. My uncle has about 5 dirt bikes at his house that he lets us ride around in his back wooded area.  That was like the ultimate freedom for my cousins and I as a child. Aside from that, my dad showed me a picture of an old cherry red Harley that he had growing up, which only fed my hunger for wanting my own motorcycle even more. Sadly, that obsession for motorcycles was short lasted and wasn’t even in my mind in high school. My first memory in cars was probably just getting jerked around as a kid in my mom’s old stick shift Toyota Supra. On the other hand, I believe that my first interest in cars came when I got my very first car. During my sophomore year summer, I worked hard and saved up some money to buy myself, with the help of my dad, an all white 1991 Acura Integra stick shift with gold 8-spoked rims. I treated that car like it was my baby and the fact that it was a stick shift, and considered to be a sports car, gave me the need for speed. In college, my love for cars re-sparked my interest in motorcycles and now I want one more than I have ever wanted one before.