Episode 97: LaShundra Rucker shows women how to look good and be safe while riding with SportBike Chic

My guest on Episode 97 is LaShundra Rucker, known to her friends (and now you) as Sean. After a stint in the Marine Corps and in the midst of a budding career as a repair tech for really sophisticated machinery, she woke up one morning and decided she was going to be a motorcycle rider. She bought a bike and became one of us.

A few years later, instead of just lamenting the lack of gear made specifically for women, she put together a design team, organized some manufacturing and boom! SportBike Chic was born. Of course, you know the company has a website, so check it out – and by the way, SBC makes gear for men, too, so you’ve got no reason to feel left out. SportBike Chic is also on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Sean was featured in American Motorcyclist in May 2020 and is currently participating in the MIC’s Gas Tank entrepreneur incubator program.

Before we get into the news, I want to let you know we’ll be running another product giveaway. Thanks to the kind (and generous) folks over at Giant Loop, we’re giving away one of their new First Aid Possibles Pouches. You don’t have to do anything to win – well, that’s not exactly true. You have to sign up on the show’s email list before I do the drawing at the end of October. Then all you have to do is reply to the email saying you won!

In the news for this episode is the Safe ride to the future 2.0 report from ACEM, a European motorcycle industry organization. They’ve got some interesting ideas you should be aware of, because it’s not unprecedented for European road safety ideas to make their way across the Atlantic. Uncommon, sure, but not unprecedented. Plus you might get some good ideas to take to your legislators.

Royal Enfield will be opening a factory in Thailand to boost exports to Asian markets, and Aprilia is trying to salvage the disastrous Mana by turning it into a leaning three-wheeler like the Niken. We’ll see how that goes for them. Did I mention it will have an automatic transmission? There you go.

Honda is doing some cool stuff with small bikes, such as releasing a a new take on the CB350 they are unfortunately calling the H’Ness. A better name wouldn’t be difficult to find. Keep an eye out for the CRF 250 Rally, which is likely to be rebranded as the Africa Twin 250.

Suzuki has survived a long-running lawsuit, coming out on top after seven-plus years of litigation. The suit stems from a single-vehicle crash in 2012 and looked to take advantage of a late 2013 brake system recall.

You’ve gotten this far and nothing about Harley-Davidson? Relax, you know I won’t leave you hanging.

In their ongoing mission to bail on underperforming markets and ditch models which don’t sell in big numbers, Harley announced they will be ceasing sales and manufacturing operations in India and taking a $75 million loss in the process, pushing their restructuring costs in 2020 to $169 million. The Motor Co. is also dropping 10 models from its European lineup – all air-cooled models displacing 1200 or fewer CCs. The reason looks to be an unwillingness to spend what it would take to bring these models into compliance with Euro 5 emissions standards. Yeah – it’s easier and more cost effective to just stop selling them in Europe. (PS the article is in German, you’ll need to use a translation service.)

Turns out Indian’s e FTR Jr. isn’t the electric motorcycle we were all hoping for. Could be a few years before we see an adult-sized electric Indian, but the hope is growing since Polaris announced its 10-year partnership with Zero. Polaris says it will start with electric off-road vehicles (ORVs) and snowmobiles.

Please take the time to visit the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America and consider joining to help keep Chasing the Horizon going. Another option: If you’re a BMW rider (or BMW curious) and have never been an MOA member before, drop me an email to [email protected] and I’ll enter you into a drawing for a free one-year membership (US residents only – sorry). I’m giving away one membership each month for the rest of 2020 – you could be a lucky winner! Congrats to Ronnie, our winner in September!