MN Taxes From Two-Wheelers

Minnesota counties received $2,497,528 in motorcycle registration tax in 2013, according to a recent report filed by the Department of Vehicle Services.

Of the total, $2.361 million came from 235,909 motorcycles that were registered with Traditional plates while $136,362 came from 11,993 motorcycles registered with Classic plates.

Hennepin County tallied 36,293 Traditional & 2,147 Classic motorcycle plates for taxes of $386,681; Mahnomen County tallied 119 Traditional & 13 Classic motorcycle plates for taxes of $1,310.

As for two-wheelers plated as Mopeds, counties accumulated $94,382 from 15,668 plated units. Hennepin County counted 3,689 Mopeds for tax revenue of $22,245; Mahnomen County counted two Mopeds for a tax of $12.00. Clearwater County had no Moped registrations.

Cycle-Related Deaths Skid in 2013

A recent report suggests motorcycle-related fatalities in the U.S. in 2013 decreased 7% to 4,610 – making last year only the second year since 1997 that fatal bike crashes have declined.

The report, Spotlight on Highway Safety, released by the Governors Highway Safety Association, says a cool, wet start to 2013 likely kept many motorcyclists off the road.

Fatalities were projected up in 13 states, down in 35 states and the District of Columbia, and to remain the same in two states.

Head injury is the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The District of Columbia and 19 states require helmets for all riders. Another 28 states require helmet use by riders younger than age 18 or 21, and three states have no requirement.

DNR Director, Cycle Proponent Retires

Forest Lake native and avid motorcyclist Courtland Nelson on April 21 retired as director of the Parks and Trails Division of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The MN State Parks Motorcycle Permit was added during Nelson’s tenure as director and will be one of his legacies at the DNR.

Wisconsin Updates Cycle Laws

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday signed 55 bills into law, including three that pertain to two-wheelers.

Act 371 streamlines the licensing process for obtaining a motorcycle license by requiring that the Department of Transportation (DOT) waive the motorcycle driving skills test for a person who has already successfully completed a rider course approved by the Wisconsin Motorcycle Safety Program. 

In addition, the DOT may not issue a license to a person under the age of 18 unless the person has completed a basic rider course approved by the Wisconsin Motorcycle Safety Program. 

Disabled rider? Act 359 provides motorcycle operators with a disability the same access to special identification cards for disabled parking as disabled operators of motor vehicles. 

Have you seen those fly-by-night operations selling scooters and ATVs out of the back of a box truck at too-good-to-be-true prices?  Act 370 makes the first offense of an unlicensed recreational vehicle or moped dealer a civil offense, punishable by forfeiture. 

Michigan Riders Required to Obtain License 

A Senate bill headed to the desk of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder closes a loophole that allowed motorcycle operators to obtain a Temporary Instruction Permit each season without ever completing a skills test required for endorsement.

The permits are designed to allow practice runs for new or returning riders, who are supposed to operate with a helmet on and within the presence of an endorsed adult.

The new legislation would limit riders to two temporary permits over the course of 10 years.

Polaris Cancels AVR 2014 For Expansion

Polaris today announced a decision to cancel the American Victory Rally in 2014 due to what it calls “extensive transformation of manufacturing lines” at the company’s facility in Spirit Lake, Iowa, home of the annual rally. 

Polaris suggests Victory owners talk to their local dealers for information on other Victory events that might be happening in their area or across the country.

Great River Road Makes Top 10, a dating site for motorcyclists, recently chose 10 roads it “considered to be the best worth traveling on.” The 2,552-mile Great River Road that leads from Itasca State Park to Jackson, La., made the list in 10th spot.

The highlighted roads are:

1. Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1): 1700 miles from Astoria, Oregon to San Juan Capistrano, California

2. Appalachian Mountains: 770 miles from Front Royal, Virginia to Deal’s Gap, North Carolina

3. River Road, (FM 170): 120 miles from Terlingua to Candelaria, Big Bend, Texas

4. Beartooth Highway, (US 212): 68 Miles in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

5. Going to the Sun Road: 50 miles in Glacier National Park, Montana

6. Highway 12: 124 miles between Bryce Canyon National Park and Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

7. Coastal Highway 1: 170 miles from Kittery to Bucksport, Maine

8. Overseas Highway (Hwy 1), Florida, 100 miles from Key Largo to Key West

9. Route 66: 2200 miles from Chicago to Santa Monica

10. The Great River Road (Hwy 61): 2,552 miles from Itasca State Park, Minnesota to Jackson, Louisiana

Detroit Lakes Students Receive Two Chieftain

Polaris recently donated two Indian Chieftain motorcycles to the PowerSports Technology program at the Detroit Lakes campus of Minnesota State Community and Technical College.

The PowerSports Technology program – which trains technicians in the maintenance of motorcycles, snowmobiles, ATVs and other small engines – has additional partnerships with Arctic Cat, Honda, Yamaha and Stihl.

Wisconsin’s Unlicensed Riders Not Unnoticed 

Approx. 36% of motorcycle fatalities over a ten-year period in Wisconsin involved riders who did not have a valid motorcycle license.

Two of the worst years, according to Wisconsin Department of Transportation records, were 2007 and 2012, when 47% and 43% of the motorcyclist fatalities, respectively, involved operators who didn’t have a valid cycle license.

In 2013, Wisconsin law enforcement officials prosecuted 857 people for driving a motorcycle without a cycle endorsement.. – Journal Sentinel 

48 Hours In A Ditch

A 55-year-old Iowa man spent two days in April hurt and trapped in a ditch after his motorcycle was run off the road.

Thomas Anderson was northbound on I-29 at Highway 92, on the south side of Council Bluffs, Iowa, when he was forced off the road and into a ditch by a passing semi.

Two days later, a man who pulled over to make a phone call spotted the motorcycle, found Anderson and called police. Anderson was taken to a hospital in Omaha with non-life-threatening injuries.

Faster Mopeds In Iowa

Moped riders in Iowa will be allowed to operate their vehicles at up to 39 mph under a new bill recently signed into law. 

The previous speed limit was 30 mph. The Des Moines Register reports motorcycle dealers said the change will allow them to sell the bikes without “detuning” necessary to achieve the lower maximum speed. Evidently, proponents also said the change would improve traffic flow in areas where the bikes are currently bogged down at lower speeds, such as on steep hills.

The Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa and others opposed the measure, arguing it will lead to more traffic injuries.

Victory Issues Stop Sale Notification

Polaris Industries, Inc. is recalling up to 872 of its 2014 Victory Cross Country, Cross Country Eight Ball, Hammer Eight Ball, High Ball, Jackpot, Judge, Ness Cross Country, Vegas Eight Ball, Vision, Boardwalk, and 2015 Victory Gunner motorcycles because the crankcase may have been machined incorrectly causing insufficient clearance between the crankshaft and crankcase and causing the engine to unexpectedly seize. 

There were no reports of engine failures, but Victory issued a stop sale notification to its dealer network until the problem could be remedied. Dealers MMM talked with in late May said the had been contained.

Ducati Recalls Panigale/S

Ducati North America is recalling 2,083 of its 2012 & 2013 1199 Panigale and Panigale S motorcycles because the left handlebar switch may not get power from its connection at the dashboard, preventing the horn, instrument panel display, high beam and right turn signals from functioning.

The recall includes 1,515 units built in 2012 and 568 units built in 2013.

Dealers are to install an additional wiring harness free of charge.

Kawasaki Recalls KLX110/L

Kawasaki is recalling 611 of its 2014 KLX110 and KLX110L off-road motorcycles because the camshaft sprocket bolts can loosen and come off, causing the engine to lock and stop the vehicle.

Manufactured in Thailand, the bikes were sold from July 2013 through March 2014 for about $2,300 to $2,500. Dealers are to replace the camshaft bolts and camshaft sprocket cover o-ring.



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