Where real journalism meets italicized, smart-assed comments.

by Gus Breiland
Harley-Davidson Kicks Off Construction Of Its Museum. Loud Shovels Raise Buildings
Milwaukee, WI (June 1, 2006) – Harley-Davidson today officially launched construction of the much-anticipated Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee with a groundbreaking ceremony that kicked up more than just a little dirt.

Held on the future Museum grounds at 6th and Canal Streets, the groundbreaking was accomplished in a truly unique Harley-Davidson style: by setting aside the traditional golden shovel and instead, literally “breaking the ground” with a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. At the designated moment, legendary Harley-Davidson dirt track racer Scott Parker worked the clutch of a Harley-Davidson XL 883R Sportster motorcycle performing a burnout and sending the dirt flying off the spinning rear tire.

The famous Harley-Davidson rumble combined with flying dirt created an atmosphere of adrenaline and excitement for the hundreds of invited guests, including state and local government officials; representatives of Harley-Davidson riders, dealers, suppliers and employees; current and past company executives; and local business and community leaders.

“With over one hundred years and millions of motorcycles behind us, Harley-Davidson has a rich history, an exciting present and a vibrant future,” said Jim Ziemer, CEO of Harley-Davidson, Inc. “In the years to come, the Harley-Davidson Museum will be a centerpiece of the Harley-Davidson experience. Today’s groundbreaking ceremony was a unique way for us to kick off the Museum’s construction.”

Named “A New Piece of the Legend: the Harley-Davidson Museum”, the Harley-Davidson Museum will draw visitors locally and from throughout the world to experience the people, products, culture and history of Harley-Davidson. The Museum will also be a place where visitors from near and far can meet, share stories and enjoy the green spaces adjacent to the edge of the Menomonee River.

“The Harley-Davidson Museum will showcase the unforgettable collection of motorcycles and historical items from our Company’s vast archives,” said Stacey Watson, Harley-Davidson Museum director. “But even more importantly, it will celebrate the history of the Company, the passion of the riders, and the stories of the employees, dealers, and suppliers. These varied and fascinating stories are woven into the fabric of Harley-Davidson, shaping the legend and setting the stage for a bright future.”

Anticipated to open in 2008, the 130,000 square foot Museum development will feature exhibit space as well as a restaurant, café, retail shop, meeting space, special events facilities and the Company’s Archives.

“The Harley-Davidson Museum will offer an experience that will appeal to all visitors including both motorcycle enthusiasts and non-riders alike,” said Watson. For more information, please visit the Harley-Davidson Museum Web site, www.h-dmuseum.com.

Smokey burnouts and waking up the neighbors even before they move in; at least they started the project on the right foot. MMM is looking forward to the grand opening and being able to spend a weekend riding to Milwaukee to see this facility. We are wondering if it will be the first museum where earplugs will be necessary.

Man Whose Profession Makes Him Wear A Helmet Injured In Motorcycle Accident While Not Wearing Helmet
Ben Roethlisberger’s, (quarterback for the Pittsburg Steelers) broken jaw did not have to be wired shut; a factor that could hasten his recovery from his scary motorcycle accident, and the Steelers quarterback got out of his hospital bed Wednesday to talk with teammates and family members.

Roethlisberger’s doctors said a second round of tests again showed no brain injuries, although he has a concussion. Initial CT scans taken shortly after Roethlisberger’s motorcycle collided with a car at a busy Pittsburgh intersection Monday morning also showed no apparent problems.

Because Roethlisberger’s multiple facial fractures, broken nose and broken upper and lower jaw are being held in place by screws and 2-inch titanium plates, he can eat soft foods — and not be restricted to liquids — during an estimated six to eight week recovery period.

“We take a titanium plate, bend it and adapt it to the contours of the facial bones and then secure it in place with screws,” surgeon Daniel Pituch said. “This kind of state-of-the-art technology allowed us to successfully treat Mr. Roethlisberger’s facial fractures.”

The repercussions of Roethlisberger’s accident are already rippling across the NFL, with players and agents predicting all teams will begin to insert clauses restricting motorcycle riding and other such activities into all player contracts.

Roethlisberger’s 2004 contract did not contain a clause — almost certainly because the Steelers weren’t aware that he liked to ride motorcycles. The quarterback’s agent, Leigh Steinberg, received a letter from the Steelers last year warning, that his cycle riding could violate the universal contract clause prohibiting dangerous activities outside of football.

Another state-of-the-art piece of technology that could have been used was a $200-$600 dollar full-face helmet and we here at MMM would have ignored this news piece because it would have been just another accident. So, what does this teach us kids? A simple full-face helmet could have turned this into a non-event. This man wears a helmet for a living and yet can’t figure out how to wear one on the streets. This man is willing to risk a lucrative career to feel the wind in his hair. We figure this is the definition of choice.

30 Percent of Americans Would Consider Scootering Everyday
From Piaggio – As gas prices soar to record highs, a new national survey released today found that 30% of U.S. consumers would be extremely to somewhat likely to consider using a motor scooter for their everyday transportation needs. According to the survey conducted in the first week of May of 2006, these individuals indicted a willingness to transfer 35% of their weekly mileage to a scooter.

By comparing the results of the survey to Department of Energy national averages for fuel consumption and emissions, the findings establish that if Americans were to utilize one of the latest eco-friendly scooters available in the market today, they could, in aggregate, reduce national fuel consumption by 14 million gallons of gasoline per day and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 324 million lbs. per day.

“Scooters” were defined in the survey as two-wheel vehicles that can reach 40-100mph, whose average cost is $2,000 or above. The survey was fielded by ICR on behalf of Piaggio Group Americas, the manufacturer of the Vespa® brand scooters and a leading manufacturer of two-wheel vehicles.

“The benefits of scooters are well known around the globe as they are part of the daily behavior for millions of people worldwide,” said Paolo Timoni, President and CEO of Piaggio Group Americas. “While growing in popularity, scooters are only marginally embraced in the U.S., where millions of individuals drive cars in situations where motor scooters would be perfectly appropriate and convenient. Scooters are an additional transportation solution to help reduce consumer gas spending, but also provide an environmentally friendly transportation mode as a result of its low MPG and modern engine technologies.”

The survey found other strong factors motivating consumer’s willingness to consider utilizing a scooter, including environmental concerns and overall cost savings. The survey found that 33% of Americans would be likely to use a scooter to reduce emissions harmful to the environment, 35% would be likely to use a scooter to save $25.00 a week on gasoline.

This survey underscores the growing popularity of two-wheel vehicles. Scooter sales have increased tremendously over the past two years and manufacturers are preparing for a busy summer of record sales.

MMM is a Scooter friendly newspaper and believes that next to every Road King and Hayabusa there should be at least one scooter. In town, the scooter is more nimble and better suited for the hustle and bustle of city traffic and will get you from point A to point B in the same amount of time. With less mass to throw around and less gas to pour out the tailpipe. Get yourself a scooter; you may just thank us for it. (Angry scooterphobes direct your letters to Gus Breiland at MMM.)

M.M.M.

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