*Vladimir Alexander Update
*Janklow Near-miss to be Admitted
*KTM Announces RC8 Concept Road Bike
*Rodman Crashed Doing Tricks Outside Strip Club
*Governor Pawlenty Commends Polaris For Bringing New Facility, 300 Jobs to Wyoming, MN
*Anti-discrimination Health Insurance Bill Moving in U.S. Senate
by Gus Breiland
Vladimir Alexander Update
Last month MMM introduced to you Vladimir Alexander, a deaf and mute rider who is working his way around the world while inspiring every rider he meets. Unfortunately, Vladimir was handed a set back early in October. While riding near Le Roy, Illinois, near Bloomington, he tangled with a semi and was badly injured.
Vladimir’s injuries included, but were not limited to, two broken legs, a broken pelvis and a broken arm. Over the past month, for lack of a better term, the long distance riding community has worked to help Vladimir through donations, storage of his Jawa, and other personal items. They have also been contacting Vladimir’s family and friends and keeping everyone he has touched up on his progress. Contact information is below if you would like to write Vladimir. Our guess is that every piece of mail is that much more appreciated as time in the hospital continues. Vladimir has no official sponsors or insurance and donations will help greatly in making sure he gets up and back on the road. Here’s his information:
Patient Room: 2218 St. Francis Hospital, Surgical ICU 530 NE Glen Oak Avenue Peoria, IL 61637 309-655-2104 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is the web address for donation information and continued information on his healing progress. http://www.caringbridge.org/il/vladimir/
JANKLOW NEAR-MISS TO BE ADMITTED
November 10: The AMA is reporting that a South Dakota judge has ruled that prosecutors can bring up an incident in which U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow (R-S.D.) almost hit a pickup truck with a car during his coming trial for allegedly causing the death of a motorcyclist at that same intersection.
The judge, Rodney Steele, ruled against allowing the prosecution to introduce evidence about three accidents and 12 speeding tickets in Janklow’s past.
The rulings were made during a hearing on November 10. The judge will allow the prosecutor to allow Jennifer Walters to testify about an alleged close call she had in her pickup truck with Janklow on December 29, 2002, at the Moody County intersection where a Cadillac driven by Janklow was involved in a collision with a motorcycle ridden by Randolph Scott on August 16, 2003. Scott died at the scene.
Janklow stands trial in December on several charges related to the crash. Among other counts, Janklow, a former four-term governor of South Dakota, was charged with felony second-degree manslaughter, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
Also during the hearing on November 10, the prosecution submitted information indicating police clocked Janklow doing 86 mph shortly after the alleged near-miss with Walters vehicle in 2002.
KTM ANNOUNCES RC8 CONCEPT ROAD BIKE
KTM has released photos and specs on a new road bike in development. Their news release is as follows:
The RC8 CONCEPT BIKE underlines KTM’s long-term vision for the road. Those who know KTM know that only one thing counts with us. We’ve symbolized uncompromising motor sports for over 50 years. All that time KTM has fought on the front lines to win.
For the RC8, we brought our riders to the design table as well as the best technicians and designers. Our aim: the ultimate weapon for ambitious street-fighters. That means: a radical concentration of its mass around the compact 75° V2. Innovative details are everywhere: the seat is the tank, keeping fuel at the machine’s center of gravity and dry sump lubrication allows the entire exhaust system to sit precisely where it has the least influence on dynamics, which is directly under the engine. The fairing is designed to produce the least possible crosswind drag. The result – no crosswind oscillation, spellbinding agility, and aggressive steering ability. Our design approach is very simple. At KTM, an air duct is always &endash; first and foremost &endash; an air duct. First the function, then the beauty. Anyone who stands and beholds her can tell that we don’t give the appearance short shrift.
Her powerful lines and extreme reduction to the basics characterize her as a unique, wild and emotional motorcycle, making her a striking statement for our future on the road.
Technical Specifications: Engine: KTM LC8 engine Displacement: 999.8cc Frame: Tubular chromoly space frame
Dry weight: approx. 175 kg Transmission: 6 gears, dog-clutch engagement Top speed: 280 km/h
RODMAN CRASHED DOING TRICKS OUTSIDE STRIP CLUB
LAS VEGAS — Dennis Rodman was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol after he crashed a motorcycle while doing stunts outside a strip club, police said. Rodman’s agent, Darren Prince, said in a statement he is confident the charges against Rodman will be dropped.
“He was not even intoxicated. He had a couple of drinks and was getting ready to head back home to Newport Beach to continue training for his comeback to the NBA,” Prince said the in the statement. Rodman, who was treated Sunday for cuts on his legs, was not jailed on the misdemeanor charge.
“He has some minor scrapes and bruises and some stitches, but will be fine within the week for scrimmaging with the teams we committed to,” Prince said.
Rodman was issued a summons to appear in court for an arraignment in three to five weeks, police said.
“He borrowed an employee’s motorcycle and was attempting to pop wheelies when he hit a pole,” police spokesman Jose Montoya said Monday. Last month, the 42-year-old former rebounding champion was charged with being drunk in public in Newport Beach, Calif., where police say they have answered scores of complaints about noise at his home.
“He has been training like crazy for the past three months and especially the past two weeks, with tryouts coming up,” Prince said in the statement. “He needed a day or two to blow off some stream so we agreed that it was OK to go to Vegas for the night.
He last played in the NBA in 2000 with Dallas.
“As always the bottom line is Dennis only hurt himself and thank God no one else,” Prince said.
GOVERNOR PAWLENTY COMMENDS POLARIS FOR BRINGING NEW FACILITY, 300 JOBS TO WYOMING, MINNESOTA
ST. PAUL &endash; Governor Tim Pawlenty commended the decision by Polaris Industries Inc. to build a new product development facility in Wyoming, MN, saying it illustrates the company’s long standing commitment to providing high-quality jobs in the state.
“Polaris was born here, has grown into a power sports powerhouse here, and the company’s ‘North Star’ logo is an institution in the North Star State,” said Governor Pawlenty. “We couldn’t be more pleased that Polaris is continuing to invest in the people and communities of Minnesota.”
The governor’s remarks came during a joint news conference with Polaris President and CEO Tom Tiller, who announced that the company would build a 100,000 square-foot facility in Wyoming. The building will be home to engineering, design and development personnel for Polaris’ line of all-terrain vehicles, personal watercraft, and Victory Motorcycles.
“With our investment in the new Wyoming, MN product development location and the ongoing expansion and upgrading of our 94,000 sq. ft. Roseau, MN product development facility, we’ll have two state-of-the-art locations that will allow us to focus our resources, to continue to attract and retain the highest quality people, and to develop world class products.”
Construction is expected to begin in 2004, should be completed in late 2005, and is expected to cost about $25 million. The 600-acre Wyoming site will allow for on-site field-testing and will provide ample room for future expansion. The city was selected from a list of potential sites following a 16-month national search.
Tiller said locating in the upper Midwest was a logical choice for Polaris since all of its domestic operations are within a 300-mile radius of Minneapolis, the largest market for power sports products.
Information about the complete line of Polaris products is available online at polarisindustries.com
ANTI-DISCRIMINATION HEALTH INSURANCE BILL MOVING IN U.S. SENATE
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports that a bipartisan bill to end health care discrimination against motorcyclists and all-terrain vehicle riders has cleared a key U.S. Senate committee.
By a unanimous voice vote, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Oct. 29 approved S. 423 that would ban health plans from denying benefits to people injured while riding motorcycles, ATVs, horses, or engaging in other legal recreational or transportation activities.
“This legislation closes a loophole that allows insurance companies to deny coverage for someone who is hurt while snowmobiling, but covers someone who is injured while drinking and driving their car,” said U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who co-authored the bill. “Americans pay enough for their health insurance that they should receive the same coverage and benefits whether they break their arm skiing or from falling down the back stairs.”
U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), the measure’s other co-author, said: “Millions of people participate in these legal recreational activities every day. I am thrilled to see this bipartisan support to close a loophole that may have prevented people from enjoying these legal activities out of fear they may be refused health coverage because of it.”
A similar measure, HR 1749, is being considered in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“We must press on,” said AMA Washington Representative Patrick Holtz. “The Senate bill will move to the floor for consideration. Meanwhile, the House bill still needs to get out of committee.” The House bill has been referred to the Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and the Education and Workforce committees.