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.

  • Mike Simmons

    Methinks the controlled substances Burns consumed as a “yoot” have finally caught up with him. It’s also about time that Hillary faces justice for the carburetor debacle.

    • Alaskan18724

      And the infamous Smith and Wesson “Hillary Hole.”

      • Rocky Stonepebble

        Because guns should just be left lying around unlocked.

        • Alaskan18724

          A “locked” S&W has great utility. As a paperweight. The new, ugly ones aren’t even good as art.

          • Alaskan18724

            That’s what safes are for….

          • Alaskan18724

            Just try finding the tool for the Hillary Hole, in the dark, when things are bumping in the night….Wait. That didn’t come out right.

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            Yo​u do kno​w that stats have shown none of that shall ever happen to you, and that one is more likely to be killed in the U.S. by ‘friendly fire’ where a ‘home protection’ gun is invol​ved.

          • Alaskan18724

            Good thing you’re safe in the Great White North.

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            So are you, in the GREAT U.S. of Eh, without the need for firearms.

          • Alaskan18724

            But they make me feel better.

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            So do dildos.

          • Alaskan18724

            Outside of my experience. Take your word for it. Or are you suggesting that the front sight should be filed smooth?

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            que sera sera

          • Alaskan18724

            Sarah? Sarah Q.?

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            Ju​st try findi​ng the key, or entering the combination for a safe, in the dark, when things are bumping in the nig​ht.

          • Alaskan18724

            Biometrics, baby!

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            Si​mple. Wish to sho​ot it? Unlock it. Fill your boots.

          • Alaskan18724

            I think the line is, “Fill your hand, you son of a bitch!”

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            No. “Fill yer boots, b’y.”

  • Starmag

    “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.” – JB

    Only one of the passages that were so, so cynical. The truth is what’s really bizarre and funny. lol.

    When I talk like this my friends call me a pessimist. Little do they know that it’s hard work being this cynically funny.

    • Gruf Rude

      When I talk like this, my friends realize, from long sad experience, that I am being realistic.

  • Born to Ride

    You’re completely wrong John. I’d buy the 2019 NSR500 fully brand new, but only if they sold it with oil injection. Screw that premix bullshit.

  • Alaskan18724

    A show with everything but Yul Brynner!

  • Old MOron

    “MO readers vow to wait for a low-miles used unit, or for the more comfortable naked version.”

    Well, you got that one right.

  • Mad4TheCrest

    Can’t shake that image of MO staffers living in Yurts. I always thought they lived in the back of garages and slept on beds made from used tires and air filters.

    • Vrooom

      I know, they have it sweet it appears. A yurt likely goes for around 1/2 a mil in LA.

    • Alaskan18724

      Didn’t JB actually live in a garage for a while?

      • Rocky Stonepebble

        It was a van. Down by the river.

  • Jon Jones

    Had to lol at, “2018 GT750 Water Gladius.”.

    Fine work here.


      i like that one too!

    • Rocky Stonepebble

      I seriously was confused at first. As I scrolled down and it came into view, I was ecstatic. Then kerfuffled. Then I goggled “Gladius.” Then I laughed.


    very humorous! be careful what you wish for!

  • W Donald

    That was a good chuckle , thank you .
    NSR500 oooh , if only we should be so lucky

    • Rocky Stonepebble

      I arrived when I saw that.

  • Vrooom

    Happy New Year John, hope some of that comes true. Jiggydog for sure, but hope the tossing bikes with a retail value of more than $10K does not. Nobody’s touching my CT90! Which of course I bought used cause it was cheaper, that and they don’t make ’em anymore. You failed to mention the Harley ADV bike weighed 900 lbs and came with jacks to get it up when you tip it over.

    • Alaskan18724

      Want a CT90.

  • Rapier51

    All these were perfectly predictable except the thing with the 200mpg carb. We finally have it! I’d given up.

  • LOL at 6-inch pianist. Brilliant.

    • john burns

      Try to keep up Gabe this is 7th grade material buddy.

      • Chuck Smith

        I got kicked out in 5th…..

    • Rocky Stonepebble

      My dog has no nose.

      “How does it smell?”


  • Patrick Callahan

    A little comic relief to cap off the year! Not bad, had me chuckle. All told, I think 2017 was a pretty good development year, to which we, the riders, and readers, benefit from. Some nice bikes have come our way, and we should be the evangelists of motorcycling to get the next generation on board. Bear in mind, the next gen motorcycles may be electric, so hopefully they do get that new magnesium-ion battery pack down to the size of a pack of cigarettes!😜

    • Mad4TheCrest

      If they do, you could probably go from LA to Chicago (and maybe back) on the equivalent of a carton. Goodbye Range Anxiety 🙂

  • Michael

    I want Mick Doohan’s 500… really, really bad!
    I hope you are not barking mad (but think you probably are) 😉

  • Buzz

    I wonder what conspiracy 200 MPG carb guy leaped onto once everything went to fuel injection?

    • Mike Simmons

      He is now hoarding the design info for the 200 mpg fuel injector…. dirty bastard….

  • Auphliam

    Good stuff, JB. LOL’d at Mototsikli…and the fresh steamed milk 🙂