Oct 5, 2008

All the News that Didn't Fit (October)

Sally is Gone

At the Aerostich Very Boring Rally II last month, many of the company's fans received the sad news that Sally Seehus, the voice and face of Aerostich customer service, died just a few days before the event. Aerostich employees and customers shared stories of her humor, dedication to her vision of Aerostich's mission, and the personal link she provided to a company that many of us see as the Minnesota connection to the world of motorcycling. Our condolences go out to Sally's family and her many friends.

Parking in Seattle

Seattle is considering a law to fine cagers $38 for attempting to move a motorcycle or scooter from its parking place to make room for a car. This law particularly intends to protect owners of lightweight scooters who often find their rides stuffed into odd positions in parking spaces. Garrett Johnson, a scooter and motorcycle advocate asked, "Can you imagine if people got into unlocked cars, popped into neutral and rolled it away so they could take parking spots?"

Testing Airbags

Stephane Perry of Quebec gave motorcycling's newest safety equipment an extreme test this month when he ran into a Hyundai Tucson with his 2008 Gold Wing. He struck the Hyundai at about 50mph, which would normally result in a visit to a hospital; or morgue. Instead, he said the experience was like "hitting a mattress"; a very loud mattress. When the police and emergency workers arrived, Perry was busy taking pictures of the totaled Honda and heavily damaged Hyundai.

Perry said, "A motorcycle without an air bag is not an option anymore."

US Championships and World Events

John Kearney rode his 2008 Husqvarna CR 125 to a second place finish in the Woodcliff Lake, NJ Open Mag Class during in the seventh round of the AMA National Hare and Hound Series to wrap up enough points to own the 2008 AMA National Hare and Hound Championship.

Jake Zemke has won the 2008 AMA Formula Xtreme championship. Zemke, a 32 year old 12th year professional, has been in the running for 11 years straight, but this is his first championship.

Aaron Yates won the 2008 AMA Superstock Series at Road Atlanta, adding this crown to his 1996 750 Supersport title and the 2002 and 2005 Supersport championships.

Pat Smage is the 2008 AMA/NATC Trials Champion, having wrapped up the championship at Spirit Mountain in Duluth. Cody Webb won the first Duluth event, but Smage won Saturday and Sunday's rounds and the 2008 championship in front of a small crowd of dedicated fans.

Nate Kern, on a BMW, won the 2008 ASRA Pro Thunderbike championship with one race left on the schedule. Kern is the first non-Buell rider to win the Pro Thunderbike title.

Kenny Coolbeth, riding for Harley-Davidson Screamin' Eagle, wrapped up his third consecutive AMA Grand National Twins championship. He got his winning points advantage with a win on the half-mile track at Monticello Raceway.

The US ISDE (International Six Day Enduro) team finished on the podium, in third place; the best finish for the US team since 1982. The team did this well in spite of losing the team's strongest rider, Kurt Caselli, who crashed out of the event while in the battle for the overall lead with Juha Salminen. The US riders scored 10 gold, 15 silver, and two bronze medals for the event. The US women's team member, Maria Forsley, finished second in class for her first ISDE

Valentio Rossi beat the pack in a hurricane-dampened race at Indianapolis in mid-September. He fought it out with Nicky Hayden for a few laps before pulling ahead for the remainder of the race, which was red flagged seven laps early due to weather. Valentino is 85 points ahead of last years champ, Casey Stoner, and won the first US round in California earlier this summer. There are 5 races left in the MotoGP season.

AMA Sports Magic Mile Shootout Results

Stephen Vanderkuur took home $11,000 from Pickerington, Ohio on Saturday, August 23. , Michigan's Stephen Vanderkuur stood at the top of the box - and went home richer. The Honda rider controlled the competition in the 450 Modified class after winning his heat race for $500 and winning the Last Man Out race for another $500.

"I started off in the lead. Then I got passed and worked my way back out front. I don't know what happened, if he slowed or what because I'm riding the track pretty much wide open the whole way around," said Vanderkuur. "It feels good to win this race. It was good to have something different with all the fastest guys on the fastest bikes. I'm excited, and I'm looking forward to getting my expert license."

Other heat race winners included Dave Atherton winning the Pre-1982 Vintage Twins support class and $2,500 and Robert Descenna and J.D. Beach, who pocketed $500 in their races.

New Product Releases

The 2009 BMW F 800 GS should be arriving at your local BMW dealer. For a mere $10,520 you can be on (and off) road on your brand new water-cooled, chain-drive BMW. Triumph's new

 Street Triple R streetfighter will be available in November at Triumph dealers at around $8,999. The Dayton 675-based power plant produces 107hp at 11,700 rpm and is loaded with trick looking streetfighter hardware. All of Triumph's parallel twin bikes will included EFI systems for 2009.

Playboy's Leather Meets Lace Weekend Event

Head for Hollywood on October 3rd for a "no-host party at the Highlands Hollywood Loft," where you can hang out with celebrities, Playboy Bunnies, and bikers in an event that is raising money to rebuild the Hollywood sign. You can participate in the

 Saturday morning "Fun Ride through Hollywood to Malibu" and get weird at the "Leather Meets Lace Party" at the Playboy Mansion. The big biker event is "a Red-Carpet escorted Ride with celebrities and motorcycle enthusiasts joining together to support charities such as www.motorcyclecharity.org,  www.peacelovehappiness.com,  www.ridefortheheart.com,http://www.ablanketofhope.org,  http://www.accidentscene.net/." 

I'd be all about being there, but my fuzzy toilet seat cover needs brushing.

And Now for Something Really Silly

For our readers who have far more money than sense, here is the perfect motorcycle: the Gunbus 410 cubic inch V-Twin motorcycle. This strange looking Clemens Leonhardt creation is powered by a fuel injected, 45 degree 6728 cc V-Twin that makes a Boss Hoss powerplant look miniature. The giant engine hooks 523 foot pounds of torque to a 3-speed transmission, with a reverse gear. The claimed seat height is 31.5 inches and the whole freaking 1433 pound mess is more than 11 feet long. The price is still pending. 



  1. Hey Thomas,

    What happened to your posting about Bill Maher's Religulous? I read it last night & thought that it was great! I had returned this morning to share links to it with friends but could not find it.

    I hope that this is only because of minor technical difficulties or something even more benign.

    Your loyal reader,
    A fan in Tucson

  2. I'm a bonehead. The older I get, the less consistent I become in handling "details"; as in putting the right information in the right blog. I mean to make the GWAG blog just about motorcycles, but I screwed up and posted an entry I meant for my Rat's Eye View blog to the GWAG page. So, after realizing that I had probably pissed off the GWAG audience with a political post, I put the Religulous review in the right blog: http://theratseyeblog.blogspot.com/. Again, I apologize for the mental glitch.


Disagree? Bring it on. Have more to add? Feel free to set me straight. Unfortunately, Blogger doesn't do a great job of figuring out which Anonymous commenters are actually real people, not Russians or Chinese bots. I'm pretty ruthless about spam-labeling anonymous posts. If you have something worth saying, you shouldn't be afraid of using your ID.