IMS in Minneapolis February 5-7

The 2015-16 Progressive International Motorcycle Shows tour is scheduled to make its stop in Minneapolis Feb. 5-7, 2016.

Once again to be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center, the IMS tour features product from 14 motorcycle brands and dozens of purveyors of parts, garments and accessories.

The 10-stop IMS tour kicked off Oct. 3 in Portland, Ore., and ends Feb. 19 in Phoenix, Ariz. Visit for more information.

Cycle Parking at Airport

The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) recently introduced parking spaces specifically for motorcycles.

MSP added 18 motorcycle spaces at its Quick Ride Ramp late last month after receiving a handful or requests, Melissa Scovronski, manager of Public Affairs and Marketing for the airport, told the StarTribune.

The Quick Ride Ramp opened earlier this year and offers 1,400 spaces in total. The two-story ramp off Post Road and Hwy. 5 near a Super America station was formerly used by Delta Air Lines employees but recently converted to public parking. Parking costs $14 per day. Shuttles run between the ramp and the main terminal.

MnDOT Tests New Rumble Strip

MnDOT in September and October assembled groups of volunteer motorcyclists to test seven new rumble strip designs at its MnROAD facility near Monticello. Four different test sessions each ran approximately two hours, with participants receiving a $50 gas card for their time.

Rumble strips appear to be an important issue for MnDOT, which says it has received a “significant number” of noise complaints from landowners living near roads with centerline rumble strips.

Approx. 800 miles of Minnesota roads are outfitted with the traditional rectangular rumble strips. According to KSTP, MnDOT figures show centerline rumble strips have reduced the number of incidents where vehicles cross the centerline by 39%, and reduced crashes on two-lane rural roads by 9%.

MN’s Arctic Cat Confirms Snow Bike

Arctic Cat teased a prototype ski & track motorcycle, named the Arctic Cat SVX 450, at the 2015 Haydays Grass Drags in September.

Arctic Cat President & CEO Chris Metz recently revealed that prototype would indeed enter production as, what he called, “the industry’s first-ever, purpose-built OEM snow bike.” It’s based on a Sherco 450, btw.

“Snow biking is a growing sport across western North America,” Metz said. “Our patented SVX 450 snow bike is designed to provide an exciting new riding experience for a category of riders who want the lightest, most affordable vehicle for mountain riding.”

MN’s Martin 2nd in FIM Motocross of Nations

The U.S. team of Jeremy Martin from Millville, Minn., Justin Barcia from Greenville, Fla., and Cooper Webb from Newport, N.C., finished second at the 2015 FIM Motocross of Nations in Ernee, France, on Sept. 27.

The Motocross of Nations features national teams competing for a combined score to determine the overall championship-winning country. The U.S. team finished just two points shy of France.

Sturgis Org Wins $912,000 in Trademark Row

A federal jury has awarded Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Inc. (SMRI) $912,500 in a trademark dispute with Rushmore Photo & Gifts and Wal-Mart.

The jury found the two companies liable for infringing trademarks by selling products with the terms “Sturgis” and/or “Black Hills” as it relates to any motorcycle product. SMRI had sought as much as $7 million combined from the companies. Instead, they won $235,000 from Walmart and $677,500 from Rushmore Photo & Gifts and the family that owns it.

Rushmore co-owner Paul Niemann told the Rapid City Journal he plans to appeal the decision.

Cycle Thefts Down in 2014

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) says 42,856 motorcycles were reported stolen in the U.S. in 2014, down -6% compared with 45,367 reported stolen in 2013.

The top 10 states with the most reported motorcycle thefts in 2014 were California (6,355), Florida (3,981) and Texas (3,274). Minnesota ranked 32nd with 328 reported thefts and Wisconsin ranked 36th with 252 thefts. While North Dakota was ranked 46th with 52 thefts, South Dakota came in 50th with 27 thefts – which seems odd, given that it serves as an annual destination for motorcyclists from throughout the country.

The top 10 most stolen motorcycles in 2014 by brand were Honda (8,045), Yamaha (6,728), Suzuki (5,987), Kawasaki (4,497) and Harley Davidson (4,146).

Cycle Related Deaths Up 32%

Minnesota counted 61 motorcycle-related fatalities as of Nov. 8. While that’s 15 more than all of 2014, it’s far less than the 121 motorcyclists killed in 1980.

Minnesota transportation officials report more than 236,000 registered motorcycles and more than 414,000 licensed motorcycle operators in the state.

Pro tip for the 178,000 of you who are licensed but don’t currently own a motorcycle: Renew your skills via training before you swing your leg over a new purchase.

Watch for Distracted Millennials

Ninety-seven percent of 1,281 consumers recently surveyed by Kelley Blue Book say that drivers who text or talk and drive are one of the biggest safety concerns impacting today’s motorists.

Other findings: Twenty percent of total respondents indicate texting while driving, while 55% of Millennials (respondents between the ages of 18-34) report texting while driving.

Fifty-nine percent of total respondents admit that their ability to drive is compromised when texting while driving, compared to 45% of Millennials; 75% of total respondents feel guilty and/or worried when they text and drive whereas only 60% of Millennials feel the same; and 29% of total respondents report themselves or someone they know personally almost getting into an accident as a result of being on a cell phone, compared to 50% of Millennials.

Forty-six states have laws in place banning texting and driving, and 14 states ban the use of talking on a cell phone while driving.

Dealers Lauded

Powersports Business, the powersports industry’s trade publication, named three Minnesota retailers as part of its annual Power 50 dealer awards.

Simply Street Bikes, St. Paul Harley-Davidson and Wild Prairie Harley-Davidson made the cut alongside 47 other dealers across the U.S.

Powersports Business says Power 50 dealers were selected by the magazine’s editorial staff upon completion of an extensive application process that focused on a variety of business segments, including new and pre-owned sales, events, marketing, service and F&I department operations, employee training and social media usage.

I-Cycle Derby is January 1

The 68th annual I-Cycle Derby is planned to take place New Year’s Day on about 50 miles of Twin Cities area roads.

The I-Cycle Derby is one of the longest running, consecutively held motorcycle events in the United States. The derby was launched in 1949 by the Gopher State Motorcycle Club, which turned it over to the Travelers Motorcycle Club in the mid-1960s. Team Strange Airheads has organized the event since 2012.

The start and finish are at Roy’s Repair, a motorcycle repair shop at 3232 Snelling Ave. South, Minneapolis, MN 55406.

The first riders will leave the starting line at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Jan.1, 2016, for the morning portion of the ride. The afternoon portion of the ride runs from 1:30-3 p.m., after which judges will tabulate scores and announce winners.

Entry is $20. Proceeds go to Eddie’s Road, a program of The Eddie James Foundation for Children. Eddie won the I-Cycle Derby three times and the foundation created in his memory is dedicated to ending child abuse.



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