Evel's Biggest Jump Yet; Google gets weather; Indian Gets Serious; Kawasaki Gets Tunes

Daredevil Knievel dies. Accuweather might just simplify your pre-ride checklist, and we're hoping to see a new Chief soon. Meanwhile, Kawasaki is rigging its Nomads with XM

Motorcycling Loses An Icon
We'll never forget his cool one-piece jumpsuit or flair for showmanship, but the godfather of two-wheel daredevils, Evel Knievel, has died. According to the Associated Press, the white-and-blue-spangled motorcycle daredevil died Friday, November 30, in Clearwater, Florida. He was 69. Knievel's eye-popping stunts, which included a jump over Idaho's Snake River Canyon, made him an international icon in the 1970s. Knievel's death was confirmed by his granddaughter, Krysten. He had been in failing health for years. Longtime friend and promoter Billy Rundel said, "It's been coming for years, but you just don't expect it. Superman just doesn't die, right?"

Weather you ride
We're forever checking weather reports prior to and during any trip - even if it's just a daylong ramble up to the mountains. And any touring rider worth his salt knows the weatherman can make our break a weeklong cross-country road trip. Which is why we're pretty jazzed to hear about AccuWeather.com's Forecast Snapshot, announced a few weeks ago. The forecast tool integrates with Google Maps and provides current conditions, 3-day forecasts, weather news headlines, and radar or satellite images for every location on Earth.

The Forecast Snapshot should be particularly appealing to riders because it combines the most popular weather info into a single interface. Even better is the fact that you can access it for both domestic and international locations, easily selected by ZIP code or city and country search.

Accuweather.com's Forecast Snapshot

Chief at last?
Things may be heating up over at Indian Motorcycle - the company finally held a groundbreaking ceremony last October in Lowell, NC at the site of one of its future dealerships. A release stated that this will be the first of 50 dealerships the company plans to have in place by 2010. The new building will feature interior and exterior designs that Indian Motorcycle Dealers across the country will integrate into every shop. The Lowell location is just off I-85 and visible from the interstate.

Other info on the site has been slightly updated as well, with new entries about Indian's history, the head honchos behind the current firm and updated images of the plant and the bike. Along the way, you're still reminded that Indian Motorcycle remains America's oldest and most iconic motorcycle brand. Also, that the 106 year old company's new manufacturing facility is in Kings Mountain, NC. Indian Motorcycle still plans to release a 2009 model year Chief in 2008, and these limited edition bikes can be reserved at www.indianmotorcycle.com

Radio Nomad
You may have caught wind of this several weeks ago, but we'll remind you again: Kawasaki Motors Corp., USA has introduced its first motorcycles with satellite radio through a partnership with XM, the nation's leading satellite radio company.

The all-new, state-of-the-art Premium Audio System can be found on Kawasaki's Vulcan 1600 Nomad touring model. This new system will incorporate XM as an option, which means riders will be able to tune into more than 170 XM channels of music, sports, talk, news, and entertainment. Kawasaki motorcycles sold with XM radios will offer three months of complimentary XM radio service.

With this, Kawasaki becomes the first Japanese bike manufacturer to add XM Satellite Radio to a touring bike. The MSRP of the Premium Audio System is $710.95 and the XM Radio Kit is $442.95, which does not include installation. What's more, it's retrofittable to 2005-2007 Kawasaki 1600 Nomads.

XM has more than 8.2 million subscribers across the continental U.S. See the details at www.kawasaki.com or www.xmradio.com

Indian's Chief around the corner?
XM your ride
XM your ride