by Thomas Day
The 2010 Cannonball Run
Harley Davidson and the other major manufacturers were shut out of the first two places in the cross-country 2010 Cannonball Run by… Excelsior? 1913 and 1914 Excelsior motorcycles won the 3,294 mile 2010 Cannonball Run leaving 3rd, 4th, and 5th places for a trio of 1915 Harley Davidsons. In September, 70 antique motorcycle racers rode their 25mph vehicles from Kitty Hawk, NC, to Santa Monica, CA. Read the rest of the story at: http://www.motorcyclecannonball.com/. One rider, Stuart Munger, was a co-pilot in spirt, since his teammates carried his ashes in honor of his many years of service as the minister of the Church of Sin and Social Disease and the mascot for the Revis Revenge Racing” team.
The Hookers in Spain Wear Fluorescent Green
In the peaceful Spanish Catalonian town of Els Alamus, police are requiring local call girls to wear fluorescent jackets to prevent accidents. If the local hookers don’t Viz-up, they can be fined £35 (40 euros) based on a 2004 law designed to protect roadway workers. The application of the law was extended to ladies of the night because they, “were becoming a danger to passing vehicles.”
The California Motorcycle Exhaust Law
Sept. 28, Gov. Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 435, which requires any motorcycle built on or after Jan. 1, 2013 and registered in the state to display a federal Environmental Protection Agency exhaust system sound emissions label. Also, aftermarket exhaust systems made on or after the same date must display an EPA sound emissions label and meet those standards for noise and emissions. Violations will be considered “secondary offenses” (not primary violations) and will result in fines of up to $100 for a first offense and up to $250 for subsequent offenses.
NHTSA and Helmet Laws
NHTSA Administrator David Strickland told the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance that his organization wants Congress to promote motorcycle helmet use. Strickland said, “The most important step we could take [toward reducing motorcycle fatalities] would be to assure that all riders wear a DOT-compliant helmet, which are 37 percent effective in reducing fatalities.”
The AMA “supports the voluntary use of helmets as a part of a comprehensive approach to rider safety” but complained that “Administrator Strickland didn’t focus any of his remarks on leading the NHTSA toward actually reducing the likelihood of a crash from occurring in the first place.” U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) echoed that sentiment when he introduced House Resolution 1498: Supporting Efforts to Retain the Ban on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Ability to Lobby State Legislators Using Federal Tax Dollars and Urging the NHTSA to Focus on Crash Prevention and Rider Education and Training. [Gotta be the longest title in congressional history]
It’s Here, the 2012 Super Ténéré
Since 1989 (as a 750), Yamaha’s Super Ténéré twin-cylinder, dual-purpose GS-killer has taunted US riders from across the oceans. Finally, Yamaha has brought the Paris-Dakar replica to the United States. In the spring of 2011, the XT1200Z Super Ténéré will be available to US Yamaha dealers in limited quantities. (Editors, either slot me into this test ride or hire a bodyguard.) The smaller, more off-road-worthy XT660Z single-cylinder Ténéré remains a bike we’ll have to dream about.
New & Cheaper Small Bikes in the US
Suzuki has repositioned the GZ250 by dropping the price $1000 to $2,999. Suzuki’s TU250X holds at $3,999 for 2011. Honda is finally exporting the fuel-injected CBR250R and CBR250R ABS to the US, price to be announced. Now Honda needs to import the naked VTR250 twin, the CBR125 and the Varadero 125 twin and Yamaha should cough up the XTZ 250 Ténéré.
Fit Yourself to a New Motorcycle
Check out this website to see how you fit on a brand new motorcycle.
Scooter Time Trials
On November 21, KYMCO USA will be sponsoring the First Annual Scooter Land Speed Trials on Route 66, Devore, CA. The brand new Motor-Scooter International Land Speed Federation (MSILSF) was created as the “self-appointed sanctioning organization of motor-scooter land-speed records.” The Thousand Mirror crowd were bitten by the bug to reflect the bright Salt Lake sun, but were turned down by the Bonneville folks, so they created their own event. If you show up to race, be sure to wear flip-flops, a backwards baseball cap, your frat sweatshirt and your best baggy shorts. You don’t want to be overdressed for racing.
Choking Down More Ethanol
Minnesota special interests are at a crossroads, as the EPA has allowed ethanol to be increased from 10% to 15% for 2007-and-newer cages. The corporate corn-welfare crowd is calling this a victory, but motorcycles and older vehicles may be damaged by the highly corrosive effects of ethanol and there is concern that those vehicles will emit more nitrogen oxides than the EPA allows.
AGO Loses, Again & More
AGO Motorcycle Insurance (aka Arbella, Hanover, OneBeacon (aka: Homeland), National Grange Mutual (NGM), and Norfolk & Dedham (N&D)) has been ordered to pay an additional $12.1 million dollars in overcharges to Massachusetts motorcyclists by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office. This brings the total amount returned to $33,800,000. More information is available at the AGO Motorcycle Insurance Refund Database.
Tigers Get Teeth
Triumph has returned the Tiger to its roots. After several years of domesticating the once-adventure touring Tiger model, Triumph is introducing the Tiger 800 and Tiger 800XC adventure touring models for 2011. Marketed as Triumph’s “first entry into the mid-capacity adventure touring sector,” the Tiger models have a 94hp, 799cc three-cylinder engine, steel frames and a boatload of ADV farkles.
The European Commission proposed new ABS-required approval rules for motorcycles above 125cc. Not only does the recommendation ask for mandatory ABS for motorcycles, but the commission rejected the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations’ (FEMA) request that an “ABS off-switch” be installed on these vehicles for when ABS is inappropriate. “The Commission said it feared that too many riders would switch off the ABS also when riding on common roads, due to ‘unjustified lack of faith in new technologies.’”
What’s in A Name?
The North American Trials Council (NATC) has renamed the world’s oldest form of motorcycling. Observed Trials will now be called (wait for it)… MotoTrial. Supposedly, this conforms to the world’s “movement towards this type of short name that is easy to say [and] helps define our sport as one involving a motorcycle, while updating it to fit with 21st century trends,” said the NATC’s C.E.O., Brian Behling, in a marginally literate tweet-style announcement.
Chinese Imports Halted
In July, the Great Chinese Product Invasion hit a snag. Due to false or incomplete data certificates of compliance, the “Environmental Protection Agency withdrew permission to import and sell up to 200,000 such vehicles in the USA because they may pollute more than had been claimed.” The withdrawn certificates had been issued to the US subsidiaries of four of China’s largest ATV manufacturers: Hensim USA (City of Industry, CA); Loncin USA (Hayward, CA); Peace Industry Group (Norcross, GA); and Seaseng (Pomona, CA). Approval was based on applications provided by a company consultant, MotorScience Enterprise. The EPA stated that, “MotorScience Enterprise intentionally submitted false or incomplete emissions information.”
Aerostich Military Discount
Minnesota’s US-manufactured Aerostich/RiderWearHouse has announced a 10% Active Military Service Discount on Aerostich branded RiderWearHouse catalog items. “To take advantage of this special discount, active military service personnel should contact Aerostich customer service by calling 800.222.1994, or send an order or inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
2010 NHTSA Motorcycle Recalls
Suzuki Accessory Saddlebags: Made for the 2004-2009 DL650/A and DL1000, 2007-2009 GSF1250S/SA, the hard saddlebags were not equipped with side reflectors. When mounted, the saddlebags cover the original equipment reflectors. At no charge to owners, Suzuki dealers will install a reflector kit on the saddlebags.
BMW 2007-10 F650GS 11/2006 to 1/2010: Defective front disc brake washer inhibits bolt torque allowing the disc to come loose with loss of brakes.
BMW 2004-2010 K1200GT, K1200R, K1200S, K1300GT, K1300R, K1300S: Corrosion of the rear suspension bearings prevent movement of the link lever which causes loss of vehicle control.
Kawasaki 2009-2010 Vulcan: Glitch in the engine control module causes the engine to stall when coasting with the clutch lever pulled.
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