Used with permission, copyright 1999, Motorcycle Product News magazine.
Cruising the Web
Guiding your customers to Internet discussion groups can help them get more out of motorcycling. When a dealer is unable (or unwilling) to answer a Japanese cruiser rider¹s questions about what windscreen provides the best protection or who makes a suitable chrome cover for the top triple tree on their bike, where does that rider turn for
advice? If the bike in question is a Honda Shadow, the best place to go is the Roadhouse at Shadowriders.org (www.shadowriders.org), a website devoted to helping Shadow owners get the most out of their bikes.
The Roadhouse is a discussion form where riders get together and share information about modifying and maintaining this venerable Honda cruiser. Membership numbers vary depending on the season, but on any given day the Roadhouse represents a few hundred Shadow riders from around the globe. Membership in the Roadhouse is free to any Shadow owner.
Marc Mauss jumped on as a host and co-facilitator of the group about a year-and-a-half ago, when it was known as Shadows R. C. (Riding Club). "The name sounded a little funny to me," says Mauss, "so we opened it to discussion. One of the guys said 'Hey, this place has the feel of a roadhouse, like a neighborhood bar, why don't we call it the roadhouse?' and the name stuck."
When Mauss started with the Roadhouse it was a very technically oriented site, concentrating mainly on hardware and modifications to Shadows. Lately its focus has begun to broaden and it has become a more open discussion group centered
on riding and enjoying motorcycling. Last summer the group finally emerged from the cyberspace ether and organized its first actual motorcycle ride, a two day tour in upstate New York. The club has many rides planned this coming year, including a Shadow tour of the Pacific Coast.
Mauss takes pride in the tight-knit closeness that the Roadhouse group has developed as of late. "We¹ve really developed a family feeling. In fact somebody commented the other day that he's buying another bike and somebody from the group who lives two states away is going to take a look at it for him. This is what it¹s about, and I want to continue that feeling."
Other websites that you can direct your Japanese cruiser customers toward in order to maximize their motorcycling experience:
FastEddy's V-Star Pages: www.cyberhighway.net/~fasteddy/vstar.html
Honda Shadow Home Page ‹ members.xoom.com/HondaShadow/
Intruder Alert for Suzuki Intruder Owners ‹ www.intruderalert.com
Shadow Riders Forum ‹ wwwO.delphi.com/hondashadow/