January Motorcycle News


Harley-Davidson Motor Company has issued a voluntary safety recall on 2006 model year Dyna series motorcycles built between June 9 and October 19, 2005.

Approximately 13,400 motorcycles are included in the recall. The transmissions in the affected motorcycles have a defect which under certain circumstances may allow them to go into a false neutral position even though the neutral indicator light is illuminated. As part of its Initial Care Program for 2006 Dyna motorcycles, the Company will provide owners with free pick-up and delivery, if desired. This service will started and recall kits were available at dealerships December 12, 2005.

BIKE THEFTS SURGE It's no secret that in the last five years, the motorcycle market has experienced phenomenal growth. Sales have doubled since 1999 and reached their highest levels in three decades. Unfortunately, going hand in hand with that has been an alarming increase in the amount of bike theft.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reports that motorcycle theft increased more than 55% from 2002 to 2003 in the U.S. and Canada. That's one bike stolen every 9.5 minutes. Of these stolen bikes, only 25-30% were recovered.

What are the most effective means of protecting your ride? A survey conducted last spring by Opinion Research Corporation indicated what bike owners are currently doing: 88% always keep their bikes concealed in a garage or storage area when parked at home; 80% remove their keys from their parked bikes; 76% use locks; 62% park in a well-lit area and 47% use kill switches in an attempt to prevent theft. Only 16% use alarms.
128 MPH - Definitely Fast But Not Necessarily Reckless

County Judge John Steinheider ruled that Jacob H. Carman, 20, was not guilty of reckless driving when he was spotted by a trooper who then chased him at the top speed of his cruiser's odometer - 128 mph.

He said "As much as it pains me to do it, speed and speed alone is not sufficient to establish reckless driving."

BIKE STAMPS On August 7, 2006, the role of motorcycles in American culture will be recognized on four "American Motorcycles" stamps, with digital illustrations of a 1918 Cleveland, a 1940 Indian Four, a 1965 Harley-Davidson Electra-Glide, and a circa 1970 chopper. The Cleveland, Indian and Harley-Davidson stamps are based on motorcycles in existence today.
With 44 years of motorcycle riding experience, Billy Richardson knows what he likes - "You're out in the open a lot more, it's more relaxing" - and what he doesn't. "I get upset sitting at the traffic lights and waiting all the time," he says.

It's a problem that not only irritated him, but it prompted him to write a bill. A piece of legislation that - if passed - would turn sensored stop lights into stop signs for motorcycle riders since most bike aren't heavy enough to trip the sensor. But bikers will have to come to a complete stop or be ticketed if the bill passes.

GOVERNATOR INJURED IN MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his 12 year old son, Patrick, received minor injuries in a recent motorcycle accident near their Brentwood home when a neighbor backed into the street in front of the governor's Harley-Davidson motorcycle equipped with sidecar.

Schwarzenegger received 15 stitches to repair a cut lip, but may have skidded into more trouble when it was discovered that the big screen action hero has been riding motorcycles for years without a proper license endorsement.

The governor has the Class C license, which technically covers the operation of a sidecar under state motor vehicle law; but Schwarzenegger said he "never thought about" getting his motorcycle license. He said that he had a motorcycle license when he lived in Europe, but never considered obtaining another one after he immigrated to the United States in 1968.

But now after all the brouhaha over his most recent accident, he has promised to get his license and vowed to continue to ride. In December 2001, Schwarzenegger broke six ribs and was hospitalized for four days after a motorcycle crash in Los Angeles when a car stopped in front of him and he was unable to change lanes to avoid the vehicle.

MISSISSIPPI MOTORCYCLE OWNERS UNFAIRLY TAXED The Mississippi State Tax Commission recently decided to double and in some cases triple the ad valorem tax on motorcycles, directing the collection of more tax on new motorcycles than on cars and trucks that cost twice as much, making motorcyclists shoulder an unfair share of the tax burden.

Previously, the state taxed motorcycles from value schedules based on the displacement of the engine. On Sept. 1, the Tax Commission began using a computer program purchased from R.L. Polk & Co. to calculate the assessed value of each motorcycle.

There are four problems with what is now going on:

* The sales tax on new motorcycles is 7 percent. Purchasers of new cars and trucks are charged only 5 percent.
* Under the current system for collecting ad valorem taxes on cars and trucks, the tax is based on a figure which is 90 percent of Manufacturers' Suggested Retail Price. The calculation of the tax on motorcycles uses MSRP as "true value."
* Owners of cars and trucks receive a "legislative tax credit" which significantly reduces the ad valorem tax they pay when they purchase and renew their tags, whereas motorcycles were specifically exempted.
* The taxation of motorcycles is done in secret, out of public view, and Public Records Act requests for access to the program have been denied.

POKER RUNS ILLEGAL IN TEXAS Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott recently ruled that poker runs are illegal when participants must make a charitable donation to ride and have a chance to win cash prizes at the end.

Abbott, however, has frustrated the bikers by recently declaring that poker runs constitute illegal gambling. "Even if the contribution goes to a charitable cause and the nonprofit organization will pay prizes from other money, a participant pays money for the chance to win a prize," Abbott said in the opinion. "Thus we conclude ... the nonprofit organization would become a custodian of a bet in violation of Texas law."

"It's just a way of life for us," said Sputnik, who also serves on the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) Legislative Task Force. "It's a way to get together, have fun and compete against each other. It's not so much about the money."

General Items
Automotive Discount
SWMC members may now receive a 10-15% discount at ANY Center in the United States. All that is required is to ask for the commercial account info
AARP Offers Discount Motorcycle Insurance Did you know AARP offers its members discount motorcycle insurance? Coverage is also available for equipment and gear. Call 800-752-2461 (Dept. 8079) or log onto http://www.aarpforemost.com/motorcycle/index.htm.

Discounts to Spokes-Women Members

Monmouth Cycles in Middletown, 30% over cost on parts.

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