TEAM Teams with Brammo

TEAM Industries of Bagley, Minn. has signed a partnership and investment deal with Brammo, the company best known for its electric motorcycles.

TEAM is the third Minnesota company to invest in Brammo. Polaris has participated in two funding rounds for the electric specialist, and Best Buy was an early investor. Interestingly, Polaris has long used TEAM drivetrain components.

TEAM will work with Brammo to develop a new drive train for electric vehicles, although it’s unclear which projects will be subject to the partnership – Two-wheelers? Four-wheelers? Another wacky three-wheeler?

AMA: CDC Helmet Law Reasoning ‘Faulty’

A new recommendation for universal motorcycle helmet laws by a task force of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is based on faulty reasoning, the American Motorcyclist Association reports.

The Community Preventive Services Task Force asserts that universal motorcycle helmet laws will reduce the rate of motorcyclists killed in traffic crashes. The recommendation is based on studies of U.S. states and foreign countries that require all riders to wear helmets, those that require only minors to wear helmets and those that have no helmet requirement. 

The AMA has long advocated the voluntary use of helmets, but opposes mandates because helmets do nothing to reduce the likelihood of a crash: “Rider education and motorist awareness/distracted-driver programs — which are threatened when scarce funds are siphoned into helmet mandate enforcement — should be the focus of the safety community,” the AMA stated in its reasoning.

Seven Headed for Hall of Fame in 2014

Pierre Karsmakers, Tom White, George Barber, Scott Summers, Mike “The Rock” LaRocco, Rob Muzzy are the seven industry stand-outs to be inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame on Oct. 17, at the organization’s annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Pierre Karsmakers, European
Motocross Champion

A three-time motocross champion in his native Holland and known as the man who brought motocross to the United States, Karsmakers raced for Yamaha in 1973 and won Karsmakers won the 500cc motocross national championship series. Karsmakers, who also won the inaugural AMA Supercross Championship in 1974, retired from racing in 1979.

Tom White, Racer and White Brothers Founder

By the time he was in his early 20s, White was ranked among the top 100 motorcycle racers in America, earning AMA National No. 80. Soon after, in 1975, he founded White Brothers Cycle Specialties, which became one of the top off-road motorcycle accessory companies in America. 

Today, White feeds his passion by racing motocross, as a race announcer, and as owner and curator of the Early Years of Motocross Museum in in Villa Park, Calif., which features 160 motorcycles and related displays.

George Barber, Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum Founder

Barber’s early interest in motor vehicles manifested itself in collecting. The world-renowned Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum now holds a collection of more than 1,400 motorcycles, with more than 700 on display at any given time, Barber said. Each year, “several hundred thousand” people visit the 830-acre Barber Motorsports Park that includes a state-of-the-art 2.38-mile road racing track.

Scott Summers, 9-Time AMA National Off-Road Champion

Summers, from Petersburg, Ky., won the 1990, 1991 and 1992 Grand National Cross Country championships racing a Honda XR600R against riders on much lighter and more agile motorcycles. After a three-year GNCC dry spell, Summers reclaimed the AMA national No. 1 plate in 1996 and successfully defended his title the following year. Summers also won four AMA Harescrambles National Championships in 1990, 1991, 1993 and 1995. In addition, he collected three gold medals competing for the U.S. team at the International Six Days Enduro.

Mike LaRocco, AMA Motocross Champion

LaRocco began his professional racing career in 1988 at age 17; won Supercross races in three decades in two classes, 125cc and 250cc; and retired in 2006 as the elder statesman on the circuit, totaling 228 Supercross starts. Along the way he collected AMA Motocross championships in the 1993 AMA 500 National Motocross Series and the 1994 AMA 250 National Motocross Series racing for Team Kawasaki. He also won the 2000 FIM Supercross World Championship. Since 2010, LaRocco has managed the GEICO Honda Supercross/Motocross Team, which has won a title each year he has been involved.

Rob Muzzy, Tuner/Race Team Owner

Muzzy got started in drag racing during the 1950s and raced dirt track as a novice in Southern California. He always built and tuned his own race engines until he responded to a Kawasaki ad for a motorcycle mechanic.

The Kawasaki team scored AMA Superbike championships in 1981, 1982 and 1983. In 1984, Muzzy moved to Honda as crew chief for the team that won the AMA Grand National Motocross Championship. Muzzy-tuned machines subsequently won the 125cc AMA National Motocross Championship, the Daytona 200, the AMA Superbike Championship and two FIM world championships.

Byron Hines, Engine Builder

Hines said his attraction to motorcycles came at an early age and he found success as a young tuner in the 1970s when he joined forces with motorcycle drag racer and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Terry Vance. The pair earned national drag-racing championships into the 1980s, along the way leveraging their on-track achievements into the successful aftermarket company Vance & Hines.

Today V&H compete in, and sponsor, the AMA Pro Racing Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Racing Series, part of the AMA Pro Road Racing program.

Ummm …

Curt Mowers is a trooper with the Minnesota State Patrol and produces a newspaper column titled Ask a Trooper. 

In a recent column for the Pilot-Independent, he was asked: “My wife and I have a larger motorcycle and love to ride. We have a 6-year-old grandchild that wants to go along. The state motorcycle guide says you should not have a child ride in front of you, but behind you instead. It doesn’t say you can’t, it says you shouldn’t. It also says the passenger must be able to reach the foot pedals. My question is, can our grandchild ride (sandwiched) between us? I feel this would be safe, but is it legal?”

It’s almost unbelievable this question was asked, isn’t it?

Trooper Mowers responds: “The motorcycle guide is not the law, it is a summary, and your interpretation of what it says may be incorrect. It would not be legal and would not be safe. Motorcycles are not designed for three people (unless there is a sidecar or similar).”


1 Comment

  1. The AMA and “reasoning” rarely occur at the same time. Battling against helmet laws and pretending to be concerned with motorcycle safety is self-defeating and we all know it. We just don’t care that another generation of motorcyclists will have their highway privileges massively restricted because we didn’t give a damn. That should, possibly, be the AMA’s new motto, “We don’t give a damn as long as our sponsors get to sell all the motorcycles they can to as many potential victims possible for a few more years.”

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