Category Archives: Middle Of The Road

10 of the World’s Fastest Motorcycles Are Some Real Beauties.

Motorcyclists love speed and going fast, and we get that from our motorcycles. They offer us the wind in our face, the wild adventure we crave all the while giving us that exhilarating speed we need. As with each person, not every motorcycle is made the same, and just like us, some are prettier than others, while others will outperform others as well. AMERiders has looked for and found you 10 of some of the World’s fastest motorcycles and some real beauties.

This is one of the most sought after bikes in the US.

Bimota YB8 Furano

Fastest motorcycles

A very rare and sought after bike in the USA is the Bimota YB8 Furano. We start off this list with an imported bike because of its impressive history and timeless status. It came out in the early 1990s and has 164 horsepower.

It has won races across the globe and though not easily accessible to many riders today, if you were ever able to get your hands on one of them it would be an experience for sure.

This upcoming motorcycle is considered a flagship model.

CBR-1000 RR Fireblade

Fastest motorcycles

Considered a flagship sports bike made for the general masses, the CBR-1000 RR Fireblade brings the best and latest in bike racing technology to everyone who wants it. Some of the addons in the Fireblade include; wheelie control, rear lift control, engine braking, riding mode select system, power selection, and a new ABS gyroscopic mechanism.

The 2019 models weigh 195 kg making it lighter than the previous models released by Honda a few years ago but don’t let the weight throw you off. The CBR-1000 RR Fireblade is still one of the fastest motorcycles you can get.

Let’s Get Green!

2012 Kawasaki ZX-14R

Fastest motorcycles

In 2012, the Kawasaki ZX-14R held the record for having the fastest 1/4 mile racing time on the track and it would be years before that time was beaten. Though it doesn’t fall under the same name, the 2012 Kawasaki ZX-14R falls under the same umbrella as the Kawasaki Ninja which is known for its lightning speed.

Though not a lot of upgrades have been made to the 2012 Kawasaki ZX-14R since its 2012 release, Kawasaki is planning on making an update soon. The 2012 Kawasaki ZX-14R 1/4 mile time is currently 9.47 seconds with a speed of 152.83.

This upcoming Yamaha has a power to weight ratio of 0.25.

2020 Yamaha VMAX

Fastest motorcycles

Known for its popularity in street racing is the 2020 Yamaha VMAX. Over the years, Yamaha has added more upgrades to the bike’s engine to add more power to the wheels. It has a giant 1,679cc water-cooled V-4, that produces 174 hp and it gets 113 pound-feet torque.

A little heavier than some, the 2020 Yamaha VMAX comes in at 683 pounds but it has a power-to-weight figure of 0.25. Yamaha added some relaxed ergonomics to make the bike easier to control and more comfortable to ride.

This KTM model tops out over 155 mph.

2019 KTM 1290 Super Duke R

Fastest motorcycles

The 2019 KTM 1290 Super Duke R is not only a very fast bike, but it is one of the most popular. It doesn’t have the same forced-air induction like Kawasaki or bells and whistles as the RSV4 or S1000RR but is still just as fast

When tested at a Dyno, it topped out at 155 horsepower. The 2019 KTM 1290 Super Duke R has a 1,301cc liquid-cooled V-twin and 93 pound-feet peak torque while weighing 470 pounds and having a power-to-weight ratio of 0.33.

BMW wants you to go fast and comfortable in this rider-friendly model.

2019 BMW K 1600 GTL

Fastest motorcycles

Just because you are wanting to go fast doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t also want to be comfortable and enjoy your ride as well. The 2019 BMW K 1600 GTL is the perfect bike for those riders who want the best of both worlds.

The 2019 BMW K 1600 GTL gets 126 hp and 106 pound-feet peak torque. It is heavier at 772 pounds but is worth the extra weight to carry all of the soft comforts that you need. The 2019 BMW K 1600 GTL also has a 0.16 power-to-weight ratio.

This upcoming bike is the only all-electric motorcycle on this list.

Lightning LS-218

Fastest motorcycles

The Lightning LS-218 in some aspects can be considered one of the fastest production motorcycles on the road. It isn’t called lightning for any reason although some motorcycle enthusiasts don’t care for the bike at all because it is electric.

The Lightning LS-218 has a top speed of 218 mph; the number that comes after the name. Some of the specs on the Lightning LS-218 include having 200 horsepower, 168 lb-ft of torque, and it goes 0-60mph in 2 seconds flat.

This next Kawasaki is far from being street legal.

Kawasaki Ninja H2R

Considered a hyper sports motorcycle, the Kawasaki Ninja H2R is also one of the fastest superbikes ever driven to date. The Kawasaki Ninja H2R is a track-only motorcycle and isn’t street legal because of its dangerous high speeds.

It has 300 horsepower and can go over 249 mph. It comes with a 998 CC supercharged inline 4 engine. Kawasaki included a dog-ring transmission on the Kawasaki Ninja H2R to improve faster and smoother shifting.

Dodge Tomahawk

The Dodge Tomahawk is the world’s fastest motorcycle ever produced and has a top speed of 420 mph. It was unveiled in 2003 with only 9 motorcycles sold since then.

The specs on the Dodge Tomahawk include its V-10 SRT Dodge Viper engine that has 8.3 liters. It can go from 0 to 60 in just 1.5 seconds and has a maximum horsepower of 500. One of the biggest differences in the Dodge Tomahawk is its wheel structure where it has two front and two back wheels.

The Guinness Book of World Records named this bike Most expensive motorcycle in production in 2004

MTT Turbine Superbike Y2K

The MTT Turbine Superbike Y2K was considered to be the “Most expensive motorcycle in production” by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2004. The bikes are not mass produced in continuous series; each unique bike is hand made to order after receiving the buyer’s specifications.

It features the Rolls-Royce 250 C18 turboshaft engine and has a maximum power of 320 horsepower at 52,000 RPM. The MTT Turbine Superbike Y2K has an impressive top speed of 227 mph and was manufactured from 2000-2005.

And there ya have it. There are many, many more and that is just 10 of them only a drop in the bucket.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

~AMERiders

and

Mistakes

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information on 10 of the World’s Fastest Motorcycles Are Some Real Beauties.

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

Like what you just read? Share it on social media ( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram) with others and let them get the information and benefit from it as well.

Royal Enfield Discontinues the Bullet and Thunderbird 500 Motorcycles

In November 2019, a rumor that Royal Enfield would discontinue its 500 models surfaced. If you’re a fan of the Bullet or the Classic 500, you might want to stock up sooner rather than later. We now learn that the rumor was true and several Indian sources confirm that the 500s are being pulled for 2020.  AMERiders explains.

According to the local media, without any bells and whistles, Royal Enfield removed the Bullet, Thunderbird, and Thunderbird X 500 from its Indian online listings with the Classic 500 expected to follow. The 500 segment was apparently a slow one for Royal Enfield, stuck between its two, more popular siblings. In fact, the 350s have been driving the brand’s local sales while the Continental GT and Interceptor 650 have been leading sales abroad since their introduction in 2018. 

The problem with the 500 models is that they had the same look as the 350s—minus the reduced price and taxes of the smaller displacement—and they didn’t quite stack up to the 650 Twins quality-wise. Besides, the 350s are getting thoroughly updated for 2020 with more features and “more refined performance”, making the aging 500s obsolete. Talk about a winning formula. 

Royal Enfield

Royal Enfield feels that, at this point, it wasn’t worth updating the middleweight engine to make it compliant with the new Indian emission standards. The manufacturer will focus on the 350 and the 650 Twins moving forward. 

A dealer commented that the discontinued models will remain available until March 31 or until all the units are sold—whichever term comes first. As for the popular Himalayan with its 400 engine, it was updated for 2020 which means it is likely safe from elimination, at least for now.  

The dramatic measures are expected to impact the markets worldwide, which means that Royal Enfield’s U.S. lineup could be narrowed down to only three models. 

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

~AMERiders

and

Royal Enfield

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information on Royal Enfield Discontinuing the Bullet and Thunderbird 500 Motorcycles.

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

Like what you just read? Share it on social media ( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram) with others and let them get the information and benefit from it as well.

Raise Money for Veterans With the 2020 Tanks for Troops Event

Do you love custom motorcycle tank art and want to support military vets in need? If so, Carey Hart’s 2020 Good Ride Tanks For Troops event should be on your radar. Hart is hoping to top the $30,000 amount he raised back 2018 for the Infinite Hero Foundation this year. AMERiders is excited about this as we are proud to support our troops.

Twenty-four custom-painted Indian Motorcycle FTR 1200 tank covers will be auctioned off this year. The auction opened yesterday, January 9, 2020, and closes at 9 p.m. PST on Thursday, January 16, 2020. You have one week to get your bids in if you’re interested, and no matter what your custom art aesthetic preferences are, there’s something to suit every style here.

Here are just 15 of the tanks that will be auctioned off.

From a tribute to The Great Escape to tattoo art to fine art to military and motorsport-inspired art, there’s a lot to explore and appreciate here. All proceeds from this auction benefit the Infinite Hero Foundation, which aids our military veterans with the mental and physical health issues that arise from the service they gave our country. Give to a worthy cause, score yourself some beautiful custom moto art from a variety of skilled artists, including Carey Hart’s young daughter. What’s not to love?  

One awesome part is, you don’t even have to actually go anywhere to participate, and can register and bid from the comfort of your own home, or anywhere you can get online. If you want to donate but aren’t up for a custom FTR 1200 tank cover, Hart is also offering a limited edition run of autographed Good Ride challenge coins for a $100 donation. 

If a donation isn’t in the cards for you right now, but you still want to help, please spread the word about the auction wherever you can. Connecting people who might be interested can make a huge difference, as well. 

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

~AMERiders

and

Mistakes

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information on the 2020 Tanks for Troops Event.

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

Like what you just read? Share it on social media ( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram) with others and let them get the information and benefit from it as well.

Sources: Good Ride2020 Tanks For Troops

The Harley-Davidson 338 or Baby Harley May Launch in June of 2020

Recently we have only had the Street 500 as our smallest bike, however, that is fixing to change as the “baby” Harley is ready for production and may launch in June of 2020. AMERiders goes over the smallness of this bike.

When the rumor surfaced that the company had a plan to seduce the Asian market with an even smaller bike, that definitely got out attention. Isn’t there something fascinating and utterly adorable about a small Harley? There is now a date on the model’s impending arrival on the Chinese market and the countdown is on.

There’s been talk of Harley-Davidson downsizing for a few months now. As the American manufacturer entrusts part of its production to China and increases its presence on the Asian markets, part of the plan includes the introduction of small-displacement bikes. It was already confirmed that the “baby” Harley would be offered with a displacement of 338cc. The model is now ready to hit the production line. 

baby

Harley-Davidson and its Chinese partner Qianjiang signed off on the design of the HD350 Project—the new model’s working name in December of 2019. The two companies came together for a ceremonial “Design Freeze Signing Ceremony” which translates to “we all agree on the design so let’s move along”. The small Harley-brand bike is now heading to the factory to begin production. 

While the design was approved by the two partners, it wasn’t shared with the media. We have yet to see the look the production version of the bike will have. Interestingly, in the summarized calendar, the company refers to the model as the HD338 rather than the “HD350” it used during the design freeze signing ceremony. 

As we already know, the new Asia-specific Harley 338 will use a Benelli 338cc twin-cylinder engine, heavily based on the existing Benelli 302S model. The two models are expected to share both an engine and a chassis, according to several sources. Other features such as the bodywork and the suspension should be provided by Harley-Davidson. 

According to Indian media, the new HD338 is then expected to launch in India before the end of 2020. Until now, the Street 750 has been Harley’s best-selling model on that market, something the new 338 could be about to change. 

baby

The presentation also showed launch dates for a staggering number of new and updated Benelli models which include a new TRK800 ADV and a 600N/600RR model—likely a naked and fully-faired version of the same motorcycle. 

The specific timeline has yet to be confirmed but a launch on the local market is expected in late 2020 followed by an introduction on the Indian market for 2021. As things currently stand, there is no plan to globalize the model and make it available outside of Asia. That being said, if the American market is open to it, I don’t see why a small-displacement Harley couldn’t be a hit here as well. 

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

~AMERiders

and

Mistakes

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information on the Baby Harley and it’s timeline.

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

Like what you just read? Share it on social media ( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram) with others and let them get the information and benefit from it as well.

The New Year’s Historic H-D Ride 2020 Riders Visit Zeke Zimmerman

I say start the New Year out right with a great ride. That is just what these riders did with an annual group ride on New Year’s Day from Historic Harley-Davidson in Topeka, KS. Celebrating another year, and a fresh start this way is a great start in my opinion.

The procession of Softails, Baggers, and Sportsters took a detour for the first time ever to visit the dealership’s first customer, Zeke Zimmerman. Who made his first purchase from Historic Harley-Davidson in 1949, Zimmerman has been a regular attendee of the New Year’s Ride and a loyal supporter of the dealership. Unfortunately, he couldn’t attend this year’s ride so his Harley brethren paid tribute by stopping by his home. 

Beginning in the ‘70s, Historic Harley-Davidson has hosted the New Year’s Ride on the first day of the year. Despite historically balmy conditions during the holiday season, the Topeka dealership has only canceled the group ride (due to poor road conditions) a handful of times in the past 50 years. 

“This ride’s happened when it’s been in the teens, or even almost zero, and we always have people here,” said dealership owner Mike Patterson in an interview with WIBW 13. “It’s never a day when there’s not at least somebody here, but big turnout today.”

WIBW 13

Luckily for Patterson and company, Topeka experienced a 57-degree (F) daytime high yesterday, which contributed to the above-average turnout. 

Whether you believe in New Year’s resolutions or not, every day is a good day to improve on your motorcycling skills⁠—even if it’s only riding around town with some friends. 

Just a little side note

We like to get little thank you notes from our customers about how much they love our products, especially when they send us pictures of them wearing them and that is just what happened at the end of the year. From one of our customers overseas in India. She wrote……

I loved the quality of this jacket. The leather is so soft against the skin. The styling is modern yet trendy. In fact my friends have never stopped asking from where i got my hands on this piece of beauty. I will definitely be ordering more of these including those cool bandanas that I ordered from your site. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Regards,

Atia

Here are the amazing pictures she sent us of her modeling one of our jackets.

We are so glad that she liked the Jacket and thinks she looks amazing in it. Thanks for sending us the amazing pictures.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

~AMERiders

and

New Year's

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information throughout your New Year’s in 2020.

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

Like what you just read? Share it on social media ( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram) with others and let them get the information and benefit from it as well.

Learning From Mistakes: Analyzing the Motorcycle Crash

It is always good to learn from your mistakes and from the mistakes of others and that includes the dreaded Motorcycle Crash. There’s a very old saying that states there are two types of riders: those who have crashed, and those who will crash. When you ride a motorcycle, mishaps are a given because the natural resting state of a bike is on its side. Whether it’s a zero-mph tip-over while parking or something much worse, every rider knows (whether we admit it or not) that a crash is a real possibility with every ride. So AMERiders is going to analyze the Motorcycle crash and see what we can learn from those mistakes that could have happened.

When that inevitable crash happens, how do we react? Well, if it’s not totally catastrophic, a crash can either be a point of shame or a great learning experience. If you ride with safe, supportive people, it’s always a learning experience. Everyone makes mistakes; it’s what makes us human. When we can learn from ours or other people’s mistakes, we gain experience. We can take any mishap and learn from it: why it happened, what could have prevented it or made it less severe, what we could have done differently, and how our safety gear fared (or failed us).

“What Happened?”

motorcyle crash
The best piece of advice for night riding: “never outride your headlights!” Always make sure you can stop within the distance that your headlight beam covers.

Maybe a car pulled out in front of you, or you hit a patch of sand. Maybe there was oil on the road or some wildlife interrupted your ride. Sometimes we can see a crash coming, and sometimes (we think) it happens out of the clear blue. The more we analyze our crashes the more we can see that very few of them can’t at least be anticipated: weather, road conditions, traffic patterns. What time of day was it, were you in a sea of commuters or vacation traffic?

“What Did I Miss?”

Maybe more, and brighter, lights on your bike could have lit up the underbrush and you’d have seen that raccoon sooner. Maybe knobbier tires would have handled that mud pit better than the dual-sports you were running. Perhaps you should have been inspecting both ends of your clutch cable all along, since it broke on the road, on the engine side. Slowing down might have given you just a little bit more braking distance ahead of that deer. Usually, a crash is the result of a confluence of mistakes or oversights, on your part or those around you. Keep digging until you’re pretty sure you found them all. Be honest. Blaming the other guy, and not thinking about the crash beyond that, doesn’t help anyone.

What Helped?”

Your full-face helmet might have some major scarring but it protected your head. Those sleeves bunched up and exposed some flesh between the cuff and your glove; maybe that’s why your arm is a little bloody. Your armored boots are scuffed up but are you ok? The armor in your riding jeans shifted, so perhaps your knee is a little raw and bruised–-it might be time to upgrade to real riding pants with better armor. You probably could have braked harder, since the road was wet but not sandy; it’s time to practice better threshold braking.

Sharing a post-crash analysis with like-minded friends by running through all these questions can open your eyes to mistakes you made that you might otherwise have missed. It’ll help you to avoid those mistakes in the future, and it might save some of your friends from the same fate. You’ll know you’re with responsible, safe riders when they are all open and honest about their own crashes, and offer their own experiences honestly, to help everyone learn.

We hope our informational analysis has helped you some.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

~AMERiders

and

Mistakes

Let AMERiders help you Learning From Mistakes: Analyzing the Motorcycle Crash.

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

Like what you just read? Share it on social media ( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram) with others and let them get the information and benefit from it as well.

Have a Very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays From AMERiders!

WE here at AMERiders Wish you a Very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! We hope you have a safe and wonderful holiday with your families. While you travel please be careful driving or riding whichever the case may be and please try to stay warm as well.

While eating with your family remember that turkey can make you extremely tired after eating and you do not want to drive right afterward. Wait for a little while then drive home.

That goes the same for the spiked egg nog some of you know you like to hit it a bit.

From all of us to all of you.

Very Merry Christmas

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

~AMERiders

and

Mistakes

Have a Very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays From AMERiders!

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

Like what you just read? Share it on social media ( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram) with others and let them get the information and benefit from it as well.

AMERiders Traditional Night Before Christmas Biker Style

As we do each year AMERiders gives you our traditional The Night Before Christmas Biker Style and wishes you a Very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (Biker Style)

night

‘Twas the night before Christmas, And not until Spring,
Would an engine be running, not even a Wing.
The bikes are all sleeping, They’re covered and warm
Batteries are tended, nylon covers their form.

My Bros were all nestled snug in their beds,
While visions of new chrome danced in their heads.
And I in my doo-rag, bike jacket, and boots,
Out shoveling snow, and dreaming of scoots.

Then from the horizon, there came such a clatter,
My shovel I dropped, what could be the matter?
Away up the hill, I slogged through the snow,
Looked up at the sky; where’d all that noise go?

A throb from the heavens like straight pipes so hearty,
Gave Summers’ good thoughts, a loud bikers’ party.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a Hog Ultra Classic, Red trailer in rear.

With a little old rider, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than Crotchies his Ultra came on,
And he whistled, and shouted, and sang out this song;

“Now, Harley! Now, Big Dog! On Honda and Beamer!
Now Vulcan! Now Injun! On Vict’ry and Triumph!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now RIDE away! RIDE away! RIDE away all!”

As small bikes that from the semis do fly,
When they meet with the air blast, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top that Ultra it flew,
With a trailer of goodies, and ole’ St. Nick too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof,
The rumble and thunder of pipes that gave proof.
I ran to the house, boots thumping around,
And in came St. Nick all bearded and round.

Dressed all in black leather, from do-rag to boot,
His chaps were all tarnished with road grime and soot.
A T-bag of goodies he’d flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His shades — how they twinkled! his do-rag how scary!
With chains intertwined, through skulls that were cherry!
His droll little mouth had done many a row,
So the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
The smoke had a strange smell; it gave him relief!
He had a broad face and a large fat beer belly,
That shook when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was tattooed and plump, a right jolly old rider,
So I offered a cold Bud, thought what could be righter?
A wink of his eye as he downed that cold beer,
Gave me to know I had nothing to fear.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to my ride,
And fixed it with Chrome, Horsepower, and Pride!
And giving the peace sign with bikers’ good cheer,
Took off for his Ultra rumbling near.

He sprang on the saddle, his gloves on the bars,
A wheelie he threw then off towards the stars!
I heard him exclaim, as my chest swelled with pride…
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good ride!

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

~AMERiders

and

Memorial Day

AMERiders hopes you like our Twas the Night Before Biker Christmas each year.

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

Like what you just read? Share it on social media ( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram) with others and let them get the information and benefit from it as well.

What Is Your Holiday Greeting? Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays?

A couple of years ago we at AMERiders were asked and responded with about which we preferred to say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays or even Happy Christmas. With it being just a few days left till Christmas Well, we thought we would repost our answer and give you the story behind each saying, and let you decide.

We wish people a ‘Happy Birthday’, and if you’re in the USA in November and December you might say ‘Happy Holidays’, so why do we say ‘Merry Christmas’ more often than ‘Happy Christmas’?!

Saying ‘Merry Christmas’ rather than ‘Happy Christmas’ seems to go back several hundred years. It’s first recorded in 1534 when John Fisher (an English Catholic Bishop in the 1500s) wrote it in a Christmas letter to Thomas Cromwell: “And this our Lord God send you a Merry Christmas, and a comfortable, to your heart’s desire.”

There’s also the carol “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen” which dates back to the 16th century in England. It comes from the West Country in England and it was first published in the form we know it today in 1760.

In the English language of the time, the phrase ‘Rest You Merry’ didn’t mean simply to be happy; ‘rest’ meant “to keep, cause to continue to remain” and ‘merry’ could mean “pleasant, bountiful, prosperous”. So you could write the first line as “[May] God keep you and continue to make you successful and prosperous, Gentlemen” but that would be hard to sing!

The comma in the phrase should be AFTER the ‘merry’ not BEFORE it! But it’s often put after the merry which changes the meaning to make ‘merry Gentleman’ and so a ‘Merry Christmas’!

The term ‘Merry Christmas’ might well have been made very popular in 1843 from two different sources.

The first Christmas Card, sent in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole, had this wording on it: “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You”.

christmas
“Firstchristmascard” Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens was also published in 1843 and the phrase ‘Merry Christmas’ appears 21 times in the book! Charles Dickens also quoted “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen” in A Christmas Carol, but changed it to: “God bless you, merry gentleman! May nothing you dismay!” moving the comma to before the merry!

However…. there is the war on Christmas about Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays…

So, consider this a primer to help all of us ‘just get along’ during this ‘holiday season.’

chistmas

Let’s start with the fact that there are several holidays that fall during December including Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice and the newly minted secular HumanLight. They all would like and deserve to be acknowledged and respected.

For example, during the month of Ramadan, I say to my Muslim friends ‘Ramadan Mubarak’ because it shows them that I acknowledge their tradition and wish them well as they observe the holy time in their calendar. This courtesy and respect should be part of what it means to live in a pluralistic society and it is easy for all of us to offer to those to whom we are close.

Happy Holidays

However, if you don’t know the spiritual tradition of a co-worker, friend, or stranger in the elevator but wish to offer them a ‘Season’s greeting’ — a simple ‘Happy Holiday’ is not at all an insult or denigration of Christmas or any other tradition. It is an appropriate and inclusive salutation that recognizes that there are many ways that people are observing the season and you don’t know enough to be specific.

That is the very reason that many stores use Happy Holidays rather than Merry Christmas because they want to be inclusive and welcome as many dollars, ahem, people, into their stores as possible. So, using Happy Holidays is not anti-Christmas, it is pro-business, and we don’t want to be anti-business do we?

So, let a thousand flowers bloom — let’s have Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs; Kwanzaa lessons, HumanLight celebrations, and Pagan solstice rituals — let’s do it all. It’s so much more fun to cast a wide net where all can celebrate our traditions together rather than strip everything away to protect the delicate sensibilities of some very prickly few.

Happy Holidays

And now a special note to my fellow Christians who talk so much about the war on Christmas. I get it, for a long, long time Christianity was dominant in the United States and represented the civic religion of the country. But America is about the people who are here now, and that is a much more diverse group. And that’s good! It is time to stop insisting that everything revolves around us. Instead, let’s join the wider circle of the many traditions that make up our country. Besides, any Christian knows that Christmas is not about displays in shopping malls, or capitols, or schools, it is about a spiritual event that we honor most in our families and our homes.

So, Merry Christmas, Christians; Happy Hanukkah, Jews; Super Solstice, Pagans; Hurray, Human Light Humanists; Joyous Kwanzaa to African Diaspora and to everyone all together — Happy Holidays. See you at the party!

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

~AMERiders

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christmas

AMERiders wants to know What Your Holiday Greeting is? Is it Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

Like what you just read? Share it on social media ( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram) with others and let them get the information and benefit from it as well.

The Meaning and Origin of the Christmas Carols We Love to Sing

The holidays are upon us and Christmas is just around the corner 7 days to be exact and as is our tradition of starting the Christmas 12 days of Christmas and (we do a few at a time). This year AMERiders will be giving you the Stories behind Christmas Carols and Traditions, as well as the 12 days of Biker Christmas and our usual closing out with our Night before Christmas Biker Style. So last week we did the 12 Days of Biker Christmas parts 1 and 2, this is is the meaning of those Christmas Carols we hold so dear.

History of Christmas Carols

Carols were first sung in Europe thousands of years ago, but these were not Christmas Carols. They were pagan songs, sung at the Winter Solstice celebrations as people danced round stone circles. The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year, usually taking place around 22nd December. The word Carol actually means dance or a song of praise and joy! Carols used to be written and sung during all four seasons, but only the tradition of singing them at Christmas has really survived.

 Carols

Early Christians took over the pagan solstice celebrations for Christmas and gave people Christian songs to sing instead of pagan ones. In 129, a Roman Bishop said that a song called “Angel’s Hymn” should be sung at a Christmas service in Rome. Another famous early Christmas Hymn was written in 760, by Comas of Jerusalem, for the Greek Orthodox Church. Soon after this many composers all over Europe started to write ‘Christmas carols’. However, not many people liked them as they were all written and sung in Latin, a language that normal people couldn’t understand. By the time of the Middles Ages (the 1200s), most people had lost interest in celebrating Christmas altogether.

This was changed by St. Francis of Assisi when, in 1223, he started his Nativity Plays in Italy. The people in the plays sang songs or ‘canticles’ that told the story during the plays. The new carols spread to France, Spain, Germany, and other European countries. The earliest carol, like this, was written in 1410. Sadly only a very small fragment of it still exists. Traveling singers or Minstrels started singing these carols and the words were changed for the local people wherever they were traveling. One carol that changed like this is ‘I Saw Three Ships’.

When Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans came to power in England in 1647, the celebration of Christmas and singing carols was stopped. However, the carols survived as people still sang them in secret. Carols remained mainly unsung until Victorian times when two men called William Sandys and Davis Gilbert collected lots of old Christmas music from villages in England.

 Carols
Photo by Pat Barcas

Also, at this time, many orchestras and choirs were being set up in the cities of England and people wanted Christmas songs to sing, so carols once again became popular. Many new carols, such as ‘Good King Wenceslas’, were also written in the Victorian period.

New carols services were created and became popular, as did the custom of singing carols in the streets. Both of these traditions are still popular today! One of the most popular types of Christmas Carols services is Carols by Candlelight services. At this service, the church is only lit by candlelight and it feels very Christmassy! Carols by Candlelight services are held in countries all over the world.

The most famous type of Carol Service might be a Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, where carols and Bible readings tell the Christmas Story.

And now we know the story behind Christmas Carols.
carols

The 12 Days of Christmas are now most famous as a song about someone receiving lots of presents from their ‘true love’. However, to get to the song there had to be the days to start with!

The 12 Days of Christmas start on Christmas Day and last until the evening of the 5th January – also known as Twelfth Night. The 12 Days have been celebrated in Europe since before the middle ages and were a time of celebration.

The 12 Days each traditionally celebrate a feast day for a saint and/or have different celebrations. Since some of us don’t celebrate it that way or haven’t known about it like that and only knew the lyrics to the song we usually have just played with it starting on the 12th and going to the 24th. We at AMERiders don’t usually have a lot of time and usually split up our 12 days of Christmas Carol in two days and we did that last week.

We hope you have enjoyed our 12 Days of Christmas Carol informational, and have a great and safe holiday.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

~AMERiders

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carols

Let AMERiders give you The Meaning and Origin of the Christmas Carols We Love to Sing.

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

Like what you just read? Share it on social media ( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram) with others and let them get the information and benefit from it as well.