newslogo*Harley loses one of its claims to fame.

*After 100 days, Triumph on track

*For troopers in Florida, every day is Halloween

*Critics falsely claim that motorcycles are a burden on society.



by Gus Breiland

Harley loses one of it’s claims to fame.
Owners of Yamaha, Honda or Suzuki motorcycles may be in more jeopardy of their “Easy Rider” days being cut short by thieves than owners of other brand bikes, according to a study released Sunday by CCC Information Services Inc.

Of the 25 most stolen motorcycles in 2001, eight were Hondas, seven were Suzukis, six were built by Yamaha, three by Kawasaki and just one by Harley-Davidson.

The single most stolen motorcycle in 2001 was the 2001 Yamaha YZFR6, according to the study.

“Often times they’re stolen for their interchangeable parts. There’s a profitable market for that,” said Jeanene O’Brien, director of marketing for the Chicago-based technology company that provides software and information services about vehicle claims to insurers and repair facilities.

Many of the most stolen motorcycles are high-performance “sport bikes” with powerful engines making them especially attractive quarries for thieves, O’Brien said.

Over 61 percent of all stolen motorcycles were two years old or less. The oldest was a 1954 Harley-Davidson FLH.

Here are the 25 most stolen motorcycles in 2001 according to a study by CCC Information Services Inc. released last month.

1. 2001 Yamaha YZFR6
2. 2000 Yamaha YZFR1
3. 2001 Honda CBR600
4. 2000 Yamaha YZFR6
5. 2001 Yamaha YZFR1
6. 2001 Honda CBR900
7. 2000 Honda CBR900
8. 2001 Suzuki GSXR600
9. 2001 Suzuki GSXR750
10. 2000 Honda CBR600F4
11. 2000 Kawasaki ZX600
12. 2000 Suzuki GSXR600
13. 2001 Suzuki GSXR1000
14. 1999 Yamaha YZFR1
15. 1999 Yamaha YZFR6
16. 2000 Suzuki GSXR750
17. 1999 Honda CBR600
18. 1998 Honda CBR600F
19. 1999 Honda CBR900RR
20. 1996 Honda CBR600
21. 2000 Suzuki GSX1300
22. 1999 Harley-Davidson FLSTF
23. 1999 Kawasaki ZX900
24. 2000 Kawasaki ZX900
25. 1999 Suzuki GSXR750

After 100 days, Triumph on Track
One hundred days from the start of the rebuilding of the fire damaged areas at the Hinckley, UK factory, Triumph Motorcycles, celebrating their centenary this year, announced today that they are confident of meeting the target set for resuming production in September, 2002. Triumph has been working round-the-clock with their construction team to rebuild the factory on Jacknell Road to create the most advanced motorcycle assembly line in the world.

Building is right on schedule, as well as meeting the targets in the fast-track program of construction and fitting out set by the company, so that Triumph can commence production of motorcycles at Hinckley, UK before the end of September, 2002.

“A great deal has been achieved in the first 100 days of our rebuilding program,” says Karl Wharton, Managing Director of Triumph Motorcycles. “The Jacknell Road site is starting to look familiar as the new building is being constructed in exactly the same area as that part of the factory which was damaged during the fire.” With the framework, brickwork and roofing now complete, Triumph is able to concentrate on fitting out individual areas of the factory to create the new assembly line.


For Troopers in Florida, Every Day is Halloween
According to the St. Augustine Florida Herald, the Florida Highway Patrol is working to complete the void between their total costumes and the Village Peoples costumes. They can now say that they have the “COP” and “CONSTRUCTION”.

The Florida HP is starting to run speed traps with a cop dressed as a highway worker appearing as a surveyor. They are actually “laz and blazing” you as you go speeding by. With a walkie-talkie in one hand peering through a tripod mounted speed detector, the FHP construction worker reads off descriptions of speeders and their speed to waiting troopers down the road.

With a cutesie code name of “Operation Hardhat” they are claiming a ticket rate of one every 2 minutes. As the troopers words flow out of the headset of a motorcycle trooper (one more Village People character “BIKER”) a quarter mile down the road. The trooper eases into traffic and come alongside the offending driver. He flicks on his flashing blue lights and motions the speeder over.

According to the Herald, troopers want motorists to know they are using these tactics. Perhaps the program’s most potent weapon against speeders is the uncertainty it causes, they say. ”Is he a surveyor? Is he a construction worker? Or is he a trooper?” said Miami-Dade FHP Lt. Julio Pajon. ‘The driver won’t know until it’s too late. And the next time that driver goes through a construction zone he’ll think, ‘That may be a trooper in disguise–who could give me a $200 ticket.’ ”

Fines double in construction zones folks and soon your contribution to the local cop factory may, too!

Critics falsely claim that motorcyclists are a burden on society.
At the height of the riding season is when motorcyclists hear it most–misinformed critics charging that people who ride motorcycles are a burden on society because of their medical costs.

But that charge is untrue, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

“Some lawmakers, members of the news media and others still subscribe to the ‘social burden’ fallacy that motorcyclists use more taxpayer dollars than other members of society to pay their medical bills,” said Edward Moreland, AMA vice president for government relations. “Studies have shown that is false. Yet it is brought up time and again by those who want to place restrictions on motorcyclists.”

Moreland pointed to a study done at the Harborview Medical Center in Seattle during the 1980s that found 63.4 percent of the injured motorcyclists taken to the trauma center relied on public funds to pay their hospital bills. Critics charged that amounted to taxpayer subsidies for motorcycle injuries, but the director of the trauma center noted that 67 percent of the general patient population relied on public money to pay their hospital bills in the same time period.

Also, a study by the University of North Carolina’s Highway Safety Research Center showed that 49.5 percent of injured motorcyclists had their medical costs covered by insurance, almost identical to the 50.4 percent of other road trauma victims were similarly insured.

In addition, the North Carolina study found that the average costs of motorcyclists’ injuries are actually slightly lower than the costs for other accident victims. The presence or absence of a helmet was not shown to affect injury costs.

Moreland also pointed out that the cost of treating injured motorcyclists is minuscule compared to the nation’s medical costs as a whole. The costs associated with treating all motorcycling injuries account for less than 0.001 percent of total U.S. health-care costs. And a significant percentage of those costs are paid through private insurance.

All told, about 1.16 percent of U.S. health-care costs are related to motor vehicle accidents, and motorcycles represented only 0.53 percent of the accident-involved vehicles nationwide in 1999.

Motorcycling critics often use the social-burden argument in efforts to get state lawmakers to pass, or retain, mandatory helmet-use laws. And in recent years, some motorcycling organizations have bolstered that argument by striking bargains with lawmakers in which motorcyclists agree to accept medical-insurance requirements in exchange for the right to ride without a helmet. These requirements lend support to the flawed social-burden argument, since the same insurance requirements are not imposed on car drivers.

“Some motorcyclists appear willing to agree to these expensive and dangerous economic tradeoffs,” Moreland said. “Lawmakers subscribing to the social-burden theory, coupled with the willingness of some motorcyclists to accept special insurance requirements, could open the door for lawmakers to impose even more unwarranted requirements on motorcyclists.”

The AMA supports voluntary helmet use for adults as part of a comprehensive approach to motorcycling safety, including wearing proper safety gear, getting rider training and educating motorists to watch for motorcycles on the road.


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