Feb 27, 2009

All the News that Didn't Fit (March)

Craig’s List Scam
Pennsauken, NJ bike sellers are experiencing a nasty version of seller’s regret. The buyers get the sellers to deliver the bike to an isolated area. Once the seller unloads the bike, the thief rides away. Detective Eric Davies says, "They [the sellers] get the thing started up and they [the thieves] jump on it and go. It's a very easy thing to do." Sellers are advised to have the buyer to come to them, either at the seller’s home or at a familiar site.

Steve McQueen Movie and a Bike
The possibility of a movie about McQueen’s life is beginning to sound somewhat solid. The film would be based around Marshall Terrill's biography "Steve McQueen: Portrait of an American Rebel." Lots of names are being tossed around for the lead, including Brad Pitt and Ewan McGregor.

Rob Phillips bought a 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross for $1500.00 in February 2008. At the time, he figured it was “just another bike” purchased for restoration. After chasing down the bike’s paperwork, he discovered it had been ordered by and delivered to Solar Productions (McQueen's production company). The bike has been restored and is on display at the San Diego Auto Museum.

Prescott, Wis. Considers Noise Laws
The Star Tribune reported that Prescott residents are debating the value of motorcycle commerce vs. motorcycle noise. As yet, the city has introduced no new laws, but Prescott’s debate is a lot like the one we saw in Stillwater last summer.

New Hampshire Goes after Exhaust Noise
New Hampshire: House Bill 95 proposes outlawing all motorcycle exhaust modifications, including aftermarket modifications and requires all motorcycles to have tachometers. The law would require all motorcycles to produce less than 95 dBA at 20 inches from the exhaust outlet.

California Lawsuit Finished
The three year old legal attempt to overthrow the California helmet law was thrown out of the Santa Cruz Superior Court. ABATE Executive Director, Tim Tennimon, Sr., said, “There is no further avenue of appeal on this lawsuit. It is finished.”

Nigeria’s Pumpkin’ Heads
In a really creative protest against helmet laws, Nigerian motorcyclists have taken to wearing dried pumpkin shells on their heads. “Kano Federal Road Safety Commission commander Yusuf Garba said, "We are impounding their bikes and want to take them to court so they can explain why they think wearing a calabash is good enough for their safety."

If you have a 39 cent per pound head, wear a 39 cent per pound helment.

Speed and Other Stuff Kills
A special 1½ year NHTSA study found that a variety of things injured or killed drivers and speeding was only a minority contributor. Out of 5,471 crashes studied, the following factors were found to be the major cause: 36% turning or crossing an intersection, 22% driving off the edge of the road, 12% stopping, 11% drifting over the center line, 5% “traveling too fast for the conditions,” and so on. The study concluded that 21% of the crashes were due to “Inadequate surveillance” and 11% were due to “internal distraction.” The study concluded that most of the studied crashes were caused by “a failure to correctly recognize the situation (recognition errors), poor driving decisions (decision errors), or driver performance errors.”

Texas Warning
The Texas DOT has a new web site (http://www.txdot.gov/) where bikers and cagers can flag road hazards. The site even tells you what to expect when you provide a notice. Recently, Texas hackers changed an Austin electronic road sign to read, "Zombies Ahead." http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,484326,00.html
Someone must have stumbled upon a Daughters of the Alamo meeting and overreacted.

Screw it. Let's Repo
Back in May, Harley initiated a campaign called “Screw it, Let's Ride.” According to Business Week, the company “seems to have applied the same logic to its loan portfolio.” Harley-Davidson Financial Services (HDFS) took a $6.3M write-down due to “rising default rates and decreasing interest among buyers for its securitized loans.” Apparently, one-third of Harley’s loans have been made to those now-infamous sub-prime borrowers. Harley offered dealer incentives to push HDFS loans and moved their share of Harley loans from 38% to more than 50% in five years. Harley’s stock has fallen from a high of $75 two years ago to $12 this month.

Winter Blues Solution?
If there is still winter left after you read this, SnoMoX (http://www.snomox.com/ “the world leader in design and development of snow kits for motorcycles”) may have a solution for you. Put a ski on the front forks, a belt tread contraption on the swingarm, and $3,000-$4,000 later you're on the trails tearing up the snow like it's July.

1 comment:

  1. interesting.

    Whenever the topic of conversation turns to loud pipes, I often will tell about a burrito dinner I had one summer evening on the deck of a little Mexican restaurant right in Prescott, on Highway 10, near where it connects to 35.

    I was trying to have a simple conversation with a friend and it was incredibly frustrating. Every time a bunch of cruiser types rumbled by, which was about once every two minutes, it was impossible to talk. The worst was when there’d be a red light, and they all would gun their engines when the light changed.

    It was really, really, really annoying. I’m sure it must be driving the residents of Prescott nuts.

    This poor town is the epicenter for the V-twin look-at-me-look-at-me-look-at-me crowd, as it’s a major river crossing southeast of the Twin Cities to connect to the Wisconsin 35 Lake Pepin loop.

    I don’t care how much these idiots tell you that loud pipes save lives, the majority of them bought bikes simply to make a lot of noise. They love it. Screw ‘em.

    Stillwater has led the way on this; let’s hope more river towns follow suite.

    Jim

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