Episode 99, in which Vincent Hill laps you back into the 1970s

Though most folks won’t know this in the future, this episode is a day late! I typically publish new episodes on Mondays, but this weekend was crazy and involved wrapping up a parts bike video series -the bike is now fully disassembled!- and a bit of a family … not emergency, but let’s call it an urgency. Anyway, here’s the new episode!

Our guest this time is Vincent Hill. He doesn’t represent or work for a company in the motorcycle industry, but rather is a friend of a friend and when I saw a post about him on Facebook, I knew I wanted you all to hear Vincent’s story.

Among many other things in his speedy life, Vincent was the first Black man to race a motorcycle in the Daytona 200. While being the first at something is always a landmark, I knew there had to be a story behind how that first came to be.

The life of a privateer -that is, a non-factory sponsored racer- is hectic, tumultuous and filled with stress. I wanted to find out from somebody who did it back when motorcycle racing in the US was pretty much entirely under the radar outside folks who actually rode. Vincent’s story is an utterly fascinating one, and impressive in its scope. He continues to be active on motorcycles these days, though now he chases land speed records instead of a checkered flag.

The news in Episode 99 is business focused, and we take a deep look at the state of the motorcycle industry as companies start reporting their Q3 results. Of particular interest are Ducati and Polaris, which owns Indian Motorcycles.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries is spinning off its motorcycle division, but there’s no word yet what such a move means for a freshly resurgent Bimota (Kawasaki owns 49.9% of Bimota). We know for sure the upcoming Bimota KB4 will have at its heart the current Ninja 1043 CC engine.

Triumph and BMW Motorrad both announced new -or at least updated- motorcycles recently. Triumph announced the all-new 660 CC Trident, which at its super-low price point will grab a lot of attention. BMW added five bikes to its Heritage series; four versions of the R nineT and the R 18 Classic, a touring version of the R 18.

In electric motorcycle news, Italy’s Energica announced an influx of financing to be used to expand their US dealer network; the company is on track to double its 2019 sales in the US in 2020.

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 podcast@bmwmoa.org 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 Marie, our winner in October!

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