Sep 28, 2012

All the News that Didn't Fit

Our Motorcycle "Community"
Paula L. Larson, 42, of Bethel, was charged with two counts of criminal-vehicular homicide in Anoka County. Police charge that she was responsible for the deaths of John A. Jordan, 48, and Patricia L. Kalla, 46 when she made "an unknown maneuver" on Viking Boulevard (Country Road 22) that resulted in the motorcycle, probably driven by Jordan, striking the driver's side door after leaving substantial skid marks before the impact. Initial breath tests found Larson's blood alcohol to be 0.195%, more than twice the legal limit. Both motorcyclists were dead at the scene. Neither were wearing helmets.
Possibly the most disturbing aspect of this crash was that a witness at the scene saw two other motorcyclists riding with Jordan and Kalla. After they circled back to see what had happened, one of the riders exclaimed, "Oh my god!" They quickly did another U-turn and "took off west down Highway 65."
Better than 2011
The nonprofit trade association, Motorcycle Industry Council, announced that sales for scooters and motorcycles was up almost 9% for the first half of 2012, compared to the same period in 2011.  441,000 off--and-on-road bikes were sold in 2011, down from 950,000 in 2007.
New York Magic Act
Back in July, the New York City police commissioner and Manhattan district attorney put on a big show about having snagged a gang of motorcycle thieves who had plagued the city's motorcyclists for several years. The city officials were all ready to show off the 63 motorcycles they had recovered in a major press event when they discovered that seven of the recovered motorcycles had been stolen from the police impound lot.
Paul J. Browne, the chief police spokesman, provided an e-mail explanation for the disappearance, ''The lot is fenced, but not locked or not guarded in the sense that there are guards, private or otherwise.''  That does seem to be a pretty good definition of "unguarded," but it doesn't explain how disabled and wheel-locked motorcycles were removed from a police impound.
The 33 suspects in the original thefts were still behind bars at the time of the theft, so they probably didn't re-steal the bikes. In fact, the current theory is that this was an inside job. That has to a comforting thought for New York motorcyclists.
NTSA Motorcycle Recalls
Ducati 1199 Panigale 2012-2013: On the heels of five Panigal recalls earlier this summer, Ducati announced another recall due to improper attachment of the rear suspension to the swingarm that could cause a “catastrophic suspension collapse [to] occur and adversely affect the ability to safely handle the motorcycle, increasing the risk of a crash.”

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