by Thomas Day

June 21st, 2010 is Ride to Work Day
The date marks the nineteenth annual worldwide “Ride to Work Day” event. An estimated one million riders become two-wheeled commuters on that day to help demonstrate that riding is an efficient, economical form of personal transportation. Participant-riders are of all ages, occupations and from all walks of life.

“Motorcycles and scooters consume less resources per mile than automobiles, and take up less space in parking areas and on roads. Riders seek employer and community support for this efficient form of transportation, and more government and public awareness about riding’s many benefits,” states Andy Goldfine, an event organizer.

Over 100 American cities recognize Ride to Work Day by proclamation. http://www.ridetowork.org

We will see a Dondolino Electric?
I know it sounds like science fiction, especially if referring to a brand with a historical tradition as old, (storied?) and loved by the average Moto Guzzi owner. They’ve always been a bit outside the norm in terms of styling and technical attributes, but this steps even more outside the norm. So far we’ve not been able to verify this so it should be considered without foundation at this point. Although the site (Asphalt Rubber??) stated that Piaggio has just obtained 150 million Euros from the European Monetary Fund for the relaunch of Moto Guzzi, but the fund to which it refers is made and intended for investment-related by law to vehicles of zero emission or hybrid, which Piaggio presently has, so it is far from improbable that Piaggio has chosen the brand Moto Guzzi as an opportunity to start producing vehicles of this type, and if so, would be the first major Italian manufacturer to have an official plan of this nature. Might there one day be a Guzzi Galletto Electric …

US Triumph Sales Up
In light of all the bad economic news, this press release is sort of uplifting. “Triumph continues to see an improvement in the sale of new motorcycle units by posting an increase of more than 9 percent in April over the same period the prior year. The sales growth is the latest in a string of gains that indicate a rebounding economy and a preference by motorcyclists for the British manufacturer’s products.

“‘It feels good to see consistent growth, and we’re optimistic about the future’ said Mark Kennedy, President and CEO of Triumph Motorcycles North America. ‘Triumph’s all new Thunderbird has gained great support, our new Special Edition models have customers very excited, and the U.S. economy is showing signs that indicate we should have a good year.’”

MC Social Networks
There are at least three new WWW ways to connect to local riders of several sorts:
• Find Riders in Your Area on www.sportbikeclub.com/map
www.Sportbikeclub.com presented by 2Wheel Tuner Magazine
• Sunday Morning Rides at www.Sundaymorningrides.com

Evel Begats Robbie
Evel Knievel’s son, Robbie Knievel, is planning a second family attempt at jumping Idaho’s Snake River Canyon. Evel’s 1974 “Skycycle” attempt resulted in a parachute malfunction, dropping him into the canyon and almost into the river. Twin Falls, ID business and civic leaders have been invited to a meeting later this summer to discuss promoting the event. If it happens, Robbie expects to make his shot on July 4th, 2011.

An Italian AGAT Law?
Italian lawmakers are debating a motorcycle gear law (N° 1720). The law may include horsepower-segmented regulations including mandatory gloves and jacket for 15 to 34 hp bikes, the addition of a protective jacket (including a back protector) for 34 through 70 hp. and for 70-and-up hp bikes, a two-piece or single-piece armored suit. Helmets are already required on Italian roadways. Another Italian bill is aimed at increase highway speed limits to 150 kph, which may have something to do with the interest in gearing up motorcyclists.

New Standard Updates Top Speed Testing
International Standard ISO 7117:2010, Motorcycles – Measurement Method for Determining Maximum Speed, does what it says; it provides manufacturers with a new set of rules for testing and quantifying the maximum speed of motorcycles. This is the ISO’s attempt to keep up with “evolving technology.”

Brand New 1975 Nortons for Sale
In case you have a few spare $10,000 bills lying around, you’ll be disappointed to learn that you missed out on a 94-bike auction that included 11 brand new 1975 electric-start Norton Interstate motorcycles, an ex-Peter Williams Norton-powered frame racer, a still-boxed Rotax-powered 1989 Matchless G80, a collection of standard and customized Nortons, Triumphs, MZ’s, mopeds, piles of parts, and assorted like-new gas tanks. The April 26th auction was of the reputed “difficult to deal with” Motoshop Podevyn owner’s estate in Aalst, Belgium.

Harley Less Down Than Last Year
Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HOG) reported a $0.29 per share first-quarter 2010 income or a 18.2% percent drop compared to to the first quarter of 2009. US sales were down 24.3%.

Keith Wandell, President and CEO of HD Inc. said, “We are encouraged by our progress in the first quarter, We are seeing directional improvement in our dealers’ retail motorcycle sales as we enter the key selling season.”

Minnesota LEO Field Report
“…On my way to the Bungalow Restaurant In Lakeland MN, I was on the St. Croix Trail through Afton and got behind of convoy of brand-spankin’-new Dodge Challengers. There were 12-15 of them and at one point the last one slowed, then hit it, fishtailing and smoking the tires, although generally they were all running just below the speed limit. At one point, I thought about trying to pass them all, but didn’t. Noticed that the last one appeared to be talking on a CB radio. So, I figured maybe they all had them. MoPar Club, perhaps?”

“Nearing I-94, they pulled over and as I rode by them I saw that they were all dressed in similar clothing. There was no markings on any of the cars, but they were all driven by Minnesota Highway Patrol Officers. Looks like Minnesota is getting on the high-zoot unmarked pursuit vehicle bandwagon. Ya best be watching out for them and they are all different colors so they’ll not be easy to spot.”

Victory Bikes on True American Road Trip
Allison Lins (Milltown, NJ), Jayne Drinan (Gresham, OR), Dick Fox (Smithfield, VA), Randy Stephenson (Southfield, MI), Shane Lautenslager (Tracy, CA), Kevin Fury (Westminster, CO), Matt Cole (Anacortes, OR), Don Williams (St. Cloud, FL), Brandon Carlson (Cottonwood Heights, UT), and Sydney Sheppard (Sacramento, CA) are all going on Victory’s True American Road Trip this summer. “The 10 riders each will receive a complimentary lease for the remainder of 2010 for one of two new touring motorcycles, the Victory Cross Country™ or Victory Cross Roads™, touring motorcycles that uphold Victory’s reputation for creating class-leading bikes featuring creative styling and innovative engineering. Each rider will plan and execute monthly road trips in May, June, July and August documenting their experience through a variety of online channels, such as YouTube and Flickr.”

Orkin Repels Motorcyclists
Orkin has produced an interesting ad. The hot-tub party-crashing, scary-towel-dropping, skinny-dipping giant cockroach escapes from the Orkin Man on a wheeling sportbike. Dirtbags to cockroaches, I guess our public image is improving?

MMM

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