Things got off to an interesting start on January 9 when an unexpected announcement broke that Polaris would immediately begin winding down its Victory Motorcycles brand and related operations. “One hundred percent complete shock,” said Rick Fairless at Strokers Dallas (strokersdallas.com) a couple of hours after the press release had been issued. “Since Polaris purchased Indian, we dealers have always been told that line was more of the vintage throwback and that Victory would be positioned as the American muscle bike.” Fairless, one of Victory’s top dealers, received word from the manufacturer only a half hour before the press release was issued. He shared that his RF Custom Parts line will continue to offer parts for Victorys but they will diversify more for Harley-Davidson and Indian parts. Of interesting note, it turns out that Texas has a law that allows a dealer to end a relationship with a manufacturer at any time for any reason. It’ll be interesting to see if the dealers in the state opt to sell off their inventory of bikes or insist that Victory take them back… Since the International Motorcycle Show was heading into Dallas just a couple of days later, I reached out to them and it was confirmed that Victory would still be at the show. Upon arriving at the show on January 13, Victory had a prime location just inside the main entrance. They weren’t putting a lot of attention on their signature brand and instead had a large presence on their Slingshot, which is a two-seat roadster with three wheels. The rest of the IMS was top notch as always with most of the big boys in attendance and current and aspiring riders had a great opportunity to get a feel for the makes and models that best fit them standing still—the real test is always in the actual ride! Other show highlights included the free gear check and motorcycle parking, the FMX stunt show, Inked tattoo parlor, the Kids Zone which allowed the tykes to try their skills on a mini dirt course, J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show, and the IMS vintage display… Texas H-D in Burleson had a fun time on January 21 when they attempted to set a world record for largest simultaneous burnout! They needed to have at least 300 motorcycles show up and fell a little short with 90. They did offer a half-price special for new tires and installations that day (texasharley.com)… January 23 saw hundreds of bikers from all around Texas, riders from as far as California and New York, and dozens of clubs and countless independents in Austin for Legislation Day during the Texas 85th legislative session to stand for their rights and to ask the State Representatives to support important bills pending that directly affecting motorcyclists. As of this writing, the three bills pending relate to lane sharing/filtering, malfunctioning red lights (a.k.a. “Dead Reds”), and a companion bill related to the red lights. Anticipated soon will be a bill to classify and register “autocycles” as such and not motorcycles along with an anti-motorcycle profiling bill. Feedback from Skee Dodson of Texas ABATE is that all bills have strong chances of success during this legislative session… Keep the shiny side up and I’ll see you next month!