Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Nothing but news....but what news it is!

What's the Hawaiian word for 'throw-down'?
The pearl of the Pacific Ocean is seeing some ugly exchanges as Hawaii enters the helmet debate with Republican Rep. Barbara Marumoto advocating tougher helmet laws.

Her call to take the current Hawaiian law of only requiring motorcycle riders under 18 to wear helmets to a mandatory requirement for all riders from scooters to motorcycles has been evidently spurred on by the (fairly) recent riding death of University of Hawaii volleyball star Tony Ching.

In her editorial published in the Hawaii Reporter on June 4th, 2006, she quoted the state's Department of Transportation recent study that surveyed 120 sites throughout the islands which found that moped helmet use statewide is only 15.6 percent and motorcycle helmet use is 26.4 percent. Enough for her to 'intend to introduce legislation next session so that we can have a thorough public discussion on this subject. I see helmets, as unpopular as they may be, as a safety precaution.'

Not sure why there was a time delay but the same paper printed a rebuttal to her column recently and although his editorial has some barbed direct attacks against Rep. Marumoto, Douglas Findlay does an excellent job bringing in different statistics to argue her bid to beef up the islands helmet laws.

During her self-righteous crusade to save everyone from themselves, perhaps she should consider the fact that more people die from head injuries in automobile crashes. Even pedestrian strikes account for more than motorcycle accidents.

Most non-riders don't care to learn what factors contribute to motorcycle accident...the most significant causes are rider inexperience, impaired driving, and automobile drivers failing to yield right-of-way to motorcyclists.

Though (Florida motorcycle fatalities have) risen dramatically (as they have nationwide), Florida's leaders...have discovered that of all the fatalities that have occurred since repealing their adult helmet law, no deaths occurred for riders who've taken a motorcycle safety course. They also realize that there are many more bikes on the road, in part due to the helmet law repeal, and significantly due to new registrations (especially among the older and retiring baby boomers).

You can read his editorial in its full fledged assault at the Hawaii Reporter.

Bottle of red, Bottle of white and a brand spankin' new Fat-Boy!
Pretty soon full-bodied, deep-colors and aroma won't be limited to describe the different wines in California's wine country, but also used to talk about the Harleys to be sold out the soon to be built Harley dealership.

Local business owner Terry Davis will start work on his new venture, a Harley Davidson motorcycle franchise store in Lathrop, California in San Joaquin County's wine growing region. He said it makes the store an ideal stop for R&R and to souvenir hunt for specialty T-shirts since motorcycle riders have tendency to not go more than 300 miles at a stretch without stopping.

I guess since he already owns a dealership in Stockton he should know!

That's 'TT' Rider....not CC rider..
TT racing coming to North America!

The Cape Breton Festival of Speed in Association with the Isle of Man TT announced a classic motorcycle race to be held in Nova Scotia next year.

The event is to be styled after the legendary Isle of Man TT, a true road course classic established in 1907. TT stands for Tourist Trophy and competitors from the Isle of Man will come to Nova Scotia for the Cape Breton Festival event scheduled for September 20th to 24th in 2006. Other events at the Festival will include a "Charity Ride" fundraiser, a full program of motorcycle road racing, a "Show and Shine" for Cars, Pickup Trucks, Motorcycles and Custom and Racing Cars.

For more information and to read quotes from past and present TT racers David Cretney and Pat Barnes read the press release at CNW group.

Bikers behaving...well!
Nearly all the motorcycle cynics were silenced after a peaceful and relatively quiet rally known as The Pilgrimage.

Well most of them anyway.

Myrtle Beach police officers said they issued 48 tickets between Friday and Saturday, but they couldn't say how many were for motorcycle-related noise violations, Lt. Chuck Dunn said.

"We didn't anticipate it being a huge problem for this rally," said Mike Shank, marketing director for Myrtle Beach Harley-Davidson. "The spring rally is where we expect there might be some concerns."

City spokesman Mark Kruea said, "I think [the bikers] are aware the community wants a gentler event."

Shank said the size of the crowd, about 50,000 and biker compliance with the law helped keep complaints down.

The biker crowd for the fall rally, called The Pilgrimage, was about six times smaller than what typically is expected for the Carolina Harley-Davidson Dealers Association Myrtle Beach Rally in May.

But it seems some people won't be happy until there are no motorcycles visiting Myrtle Beach at all. No matter the crowd size, Myrtle Beach resident and City Council candidate Cynthia Powell doesn't think the biker rallies are favorable for the community.

"I couldn't tell that it was any quieter this weekend," said Powell, who will hold a forum today at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center to hear residents' concerns about the bike rallies. "The motorcycles seemed just as loud or louder than they were in the past."

Read the entire article in the Sun News.

Bikers getting hassled by the man!

Case #1
If they're not picking on us then they take shots at our silver screen counterparts.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that The Motorcycle Diaries was supposed to run Monday evening as part of the heritage festival's lineup which also included a puppet show of Don Quixote, flamenco dancing and the movie Mask of Zorro. After a first attack by Hispanic activists who say Guevara killed and tortured their friends and family, the library is now under fire from civil libertarians for deciding to yank the film.

Understanding that South Florida has a large Cuban community that protests the regime of Fidel Castro, The Motorcycle Diaries has stirred the controversy because it's based on diaries Che Guevara wrote during a 1952 road trip across South America, a journey that influenced him to seek revolutionary change across the region. It ends before he unites with Fidel Castro to take over Cuba.

The Sun Sentinel has the whole story which will allow you to see the quagmire we have here in South Florida over the whole Cuba issue.

Case #2
ABATE, S.C. is publicizing how bikers in South Carolina are being taken advantage of by the state taxation system.

After a recent ballot for a constitutional amendment on the taxation assessment for 'passenger vehicles' was passed in the state during the 2000 General Election, bikers found themselves getting overly charged.

As a result of this exception to the passenger motor vehicle clause, motorcycle owners are being unfairly taxed up to 4.5 percent more than their passenger vehicle counterparts. Motorcyclists are being charged 10.5 percent of fair market value of their two-wheel passenger vehicles, regardless of the vehicle's age, while a six-year-old SUV for example is enjoying a 6 percent rate.

Case #3
Probably the most notable example of being hassled by the man comes to us on grand terms. The biker, Harley Davidson Company was hassled by the man, Banc of America Securities who cut its rating to sell from neutral and lowered its price target on the stock sharply to $36 from $53.

The stock closed 6.1% lower at $44.81, with its losses exacerbated by the late day selling spree. Banc of America Securities noted an increase in motorcycle inventory at the retail level and a weak consumer response to new models. The brokerage recommended that Harley-Davidson cut inventory over the coming months.

In the same press release it was reported that banks upgraded Pier One's stock to a buy rating making existing shareholders that much richer.

I guess right now the financial world sees napkin holders as good and motorcycles as bad. Even so, something tells me its more fun to take a decreasing corner with a V-Twin than it is a padded wicker chair, and isn't that all that really matters?

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