Plenty of weird stuff happened in 2017, but no weirder than usual so I really can’t complain. We’ll miss Nicky Hayden, who I remember reading about in Roadracing World when he was 13 years old (how old does that make me?), and has now departed this mortal coil way too early. I won’t miss, they tell me, the corporate tax rate of 35%, which is going down to 20% and will supposedly juice the economy like crazy and lead to a new bull market in motorcycles like the one in the ’Aughts. That’ll make everybody around here happy. All the kids are getting rich on Bitcoin, too, and home equity is on the rise again. We’ve already got granite countertops and big knockers; what does that leave? Motorcycles, that’s what. Basically we’re all set to get on up out this biatch and do some serious WINNING! Here are my predictions for 2018!

Harley-Davidson’s new Bronx Bombber will be the ADV Harley the world’s been waiting for. Extensively tested in the Bronx Zoo (map above), the new 121-inch Milwaukee Eight-engined superenduro will add long-travel electronic suspension, advanced electronics, 84 cubic feet of lockable storage, a wet bar and a miniaturized 5-piece jazz combo (like in that new Downsizing movie) to the existing FL touring platform. Not only will you be able to blast down dirt roads and off into the burning sands to commune with Mother Nature, you’ll be able to serve her a cocktail and entertain her when you get there, including humorous remarks about your six-inch pianist. Furthermore, I predict the BB wins the Paris-Dakar its first time out.

The EPA will roll back noise and emissions requirements to 1890 standards in an effort to boost domestic productivity. Honda responds by re-opening its Marysville plant and silencing all the critics with an all new Honda NSR500S. Basically it’s the bike Mick Doohan won nine straight 500 GP titles on, but with lights (turn signals are no longer required), the Gold Wing’s airbag system and the NC750X gas tank storage compartment.

Suzuki counters with the 2018 GT750 Water Gladius.

Unfortunately, since there’s no knobby-shod Scrambler version in the first year of production, younger riders will avoid the NSR en masse, and the target audience holds off until they can find their Ratio-Rites. (Why should they buy a new one when they already have a perfectly good one here somewhere?) Sadly, newly emboldened police departments bolstered with surplus military gear make the NSR vulnerable to heat-seeking missiles anytime it gets past first gear, which also depresses sales. MO readers vow to wait for a low-miles used unit, or for the more comfortable naked version.

Jim Hatch illustration.

In a positive parallel development, I will achieve my childhood dream of driving a Big Boy steam locomotive, hauling coal way out west for the Union Pacific, while continuing to knock out news items for MO from the cab in striped coveralls and cap: My fireman, Scarlett Johansson, will double as IT engineer in the modern climate-controlled cab with Wifi and espresso maker, and never a shortage of fresh steamed milk.

MO Puts up a Paywall, and people actually pay. It only happens because we work out a deal that allows subscribers streaming access to all episodes of Green Acres and Petticoat Junction, but that $2.99 a year from our Ten Million subscribers finally allows us to move out of our yurts and erect permanent structures – widely regarded as the first step toward civilization. Together with our Youtube royalties, we’re finally on easy street. The downside is Kevin Duke is mobbed by adoring fans any time he appears in public; he learns to get around that by not wearing his shades and wig when he steps out. It’s a small price for the rest of us to pay. (Note that $2.99 represents a 75% discount compared to the $11.94 we charged last time we charged.)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is finally indicted and brought to trial for all that stuff, where it’s uncovered that she was a, no, the ringleader of the no-longer mysterious cabal that withheld the 200-mile-per-gallon carburetor. In the proceedings, prosecutors also uncover the design secrets of the magnesium ion battery, capable of storing all the power of the best current motorcycle lithium iron batteries into a package the size of a pack of cigarettes (which, in subsequent proceedings, will be found to be good for you after all). Smoke ’em if you got ’em! All this leads to a dramatic reduction in the cost of batteries, which leads to…

Electric motorcycles are finally embraced by the American bourgeoisie. Economic pressure on the middle class and increasingly crowded urban areas finally get the public to discover the virtues of the Zero, the Alta, et al. Now with Harley’s Livewire and Indian’s electric motorcycles in production and selling like hotcakes for around $5000, suddenly our streets are teeming with happy, shiny well-adjusted people going about their daily lives on two wheels, constantly waving, smiling and dying to make small talk. Suddenly, we lifelong motorcyclists lose all interest, and the Forest Service sees a spike in people applying to be fire spotters.

MV’s Brian Gillen and Giovanni Castiglioni will make Erik Buell an offer he can’t refuse.

MV Agusta, finding itself in the unprecedented position of having too much money after its recent cash infusion by Black Ocean Group (most of it in rubles of small denomination), decides to repay Harley-Davidson for selling it seven years ago by acquiring Erik Buell Racing, which is rebranded as Erik Buell Mototsikli. While MV Agusta will continue to focus on hardcore sport motorcycles, the new EBM will focus on also hardcore sport motorcycles powered by reworked Dnepr engines – also a national chain of hotel casinos, nail salons and car washes.

Extracting competitive power from the Dnepr is just the sort of challenge Erik Buell enjoys.

As part of the deal’s approval by the Federal Trade Commission, Buell also agrees to become the 2020 GOP presidential candidate.

The Federal Trade Commission’s ruling to make America great again by not only banning but also deporting all imported motorcycles with a retail value of more than $10,000 stops MotoAmerica in its tracks. Rainey and company respond by joining forces with the American Flat Track people to recombine forces into a single Grand National Championship, just like in the old days, which requires competitors to be fluent in both roadracing, flat track and English. In an unexpected turn of events, grids are again filled with people on all manner of Scramblers, FZ-07s and SV650s. J.D. “Jiggydog” Beach wins the inaugural season on a Red Bull KTM 790 Duke live on network TV, following a season that comes down to the wire at the Indy 200/ Indy Mile weekend finale – and Jiggy goes on to be named ESPN Sportsperson of the Year. Wait, the crystal ball needle skipped; this one happens in 2019. Get that NSR500S while you can!

Happy New Year, MOrons.