National and Regional News
PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The American Motorcyclist Association filed an amicus brief with the highest court in the land Nov. 20 defending the rights of motorcyclists against unlawful search and seizure as protected by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The amicus brief was filed in case No. 16-1027, Ryan Austin Collins v. Commonwealth of Virginia. The Supreme Court of Virginia ruled that, because Collins' vehicle was a motorcycle and not a car or truck, the officers who searched under Collins' motorcycle cover did not need a warrant to do so. The AMA's brief argues that the judgment of the lower court should be reversed. AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman stated that the amicus brief points out an example of how motorcyclists' rights can be threatened at all levels-and branches-of government. The AMA's brief states: "This Court's analysis should not be affected by the fact the vehicle searched was a motorcycle rather than a car or truck. ... There is nothing inherently suspicious-and no inherent justification for a search-in the use or ownership of a motorcycle." The brief points out that a motorcycle cover is commonly used to protect motorcycles from the elements, to provide privacy and to prevent theft. "By removing and looking beneath the cover of the motorcycle parked in the curtilage of the home, the police conducted a warrantless search in violation of the Fourth Amendment," the brief continues. While the AMA's brief expresses no opinion regarding the petitioner's ultimate guilt or innocence of the alleged crime, it emphasizes that motorcycles should not be subjected to unreasonable searches and seizures. The consequences of the erosion of motorcyclists' protections under the Fourth Amendment would be severe.
RIVERSIDE. Calif. - The Wildomar Off-Highway Vehicle Area will be closed for at least a year due to the effect of an 866-acre blaze that started Oct. 26, Cleveland National Forest spokeswoman Olivia Walker said. The campsite at the south end of the trails also is closed. The OHV area has 8 miles of dirt trails and typically attracts 50 to 100 riders each weekend. It's the only OHV trail in western Riverside County.
MORENO VALLEY, Calif. - The Bureau of Land Management's California Desert District is soliciting nominations for five members of its California Desert Advisory Council to serve three-year terms. The council's 15 members provide advice and recommendations to the BLM on the management of more than 10-million acres of public lands in eight counties of southern California. The BLM will consider nominations until Dec. 4. The five positions to be filled are: one renewable energy industry, two public-at-large and two elected officials. Members help the BLM carry out its multiple-use mission and stewardship of 245-million acres of public lands. The nomination form is available for download on the Desert Advisory Council webpage.
CARRIER MILLS, Ill. - A federal grant will allow officials to develop a 26-mile off-road vehicle trail system at the Sahara Woods State Fish and Wildlife Area in southern Illinois. The state Department of Natural Resources received a $1.2 million grant from the federal Recreational Trails Program for a $1.5 million project announced in November by Gov. Bruce Rauner. State DNR funding will account for about $300,000 of the project and RTP funds, administered by the Federal Highway Administration, will provides up to 80 percent of its approved project costs. The governor said demand is growing for off-highway vehicle recreation, and the development will become a destination for riders from across the Midwest. Sahara Woods is about 340 miles south of Chicago.
HELENA, Mont. - Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks named Beth R. Shumate the new state parks administrator Monday following a nearly year-long vacancy at the post. Shumate has served as manager of Hell Creek State Park and, most recently, as FWP's state trails program manager. Shumate is scheduled to begin work Dec. 4.
RUIDOSO, N.M. - Jill and Ron Andrews, who founded and organized the Golden Aspen Motorcycle Rally and AspenCash Motorcycle Rally/Poker Run, are retiring. The couple started the Golden Aspen rally 30 years ago. AspenCash is 20 years old. The two rallies, which drew about 25,000 registered participants to the area each year, will end unless someone steps in to take over. The Andrewses won the AMA Outstanding Road Rider of the Year Award in 2005 and were featured on the cover of the July 2016 issue of American Motorcyclist.
AUSTIN, Texas - A proposed change in park management could place decisions about access to public land in the hands of one person. The Austin City Council and Travis County commissioners are considering amendments to Chapter 12 of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve Land Management Plan, which governs Emma Long Motorcycle Park. Off-road motorcycle riding was among the grandfathered uses in Emma Long Metropolitan Park when the BCP was established in 1996 and has continued since, despite some trail closures contested by enthusiasts. In fact, all grandfathered uses were included in the original Habitat Conservation Plan and are acknowledged in the current proposal, which states, "continued public access at the same levels as were occurring in 1996." Nevertheless, the current proposal goes on to say: "Any existing trails not approved by the Coordinating Committee Secretary will be closed." The AMA is working with Austin-area riders to keep trails open and to stop this move to concentrate power in the hands of one bureaucrat. For more information, contact Friends of Emma Long Motorcycle Park leader Tomas Pantin at email@example.com, visit www.BestAustin.com or contact the AMA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IRVINE, Calif. - Pamela Amette, vice president of the Motorcycle Industry Council, will be retiring in 2018 after a career of more than 40 years, announced Tim Buche, president and CEO of the MIC. Amette joined the MIC in 1975 as research director after nearly three years with Kawasaki Motors Corp., USA. MIC Executive Vice President Erik Pritchard is responsible for finding Amette's successor. He expects the recruitment and selection process to take several months.
SAN DIEGO - "No Roads Required," an exhibit featuring Kawasaki KX motorcycles and highlighting the bike's 50-year history in the United States continues through January at the San Diego Automotive Museum. On display are:
- 1973 F11m 250cc Moto crosser
- 1978 KX80 Pre-Production - Frame No.12
- 1995 KX500 Baja 1000
- 2000 KX80 - James Stewart Team Green Championship bike
- 2000 KX250 - Ricky Carmichael AMA Motocross National Championship race bike
- 2004 KX125 - James Stewart AMA Motocross Championship race bike
- 2017 KX450 - Eli Tomac AMA Pro Motocross Championship race bike
- Ninja H2R Hybrid - Ricky Gadson Drag Race bike
The San Diego Automotive Museum is at 2080 Pan American Plaza and is open daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.sdautomuseum.org.
WILIMINGTON, Del. - Motorsport Aftermarket Group has announced it is using federal Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings to eliminate about $300 million in debt through a debt-for-equity exchange supported by more than 90 percent of the principal amount of the company's prepetition first lien secured lenders and its asset-backed lenders. Chapter 11 provides protection from creditors while companies reorganize. Monomoy Capital Partners, BlueMountain Capital and Contrarian Partners will lead a new owners group when the company emerges from Chapter 11 proceedings. MAG has secured $135 million in debtor-in-possession financing from some of its secured lenders to keep the company functioning during the bankruptcy. MAG's brands include J&P Cycles, Motorcycle Superstore, First Gear, Kuryakyn, Roland Sands Design, Vance & Hines, Renthal and more.
MILAN, Italy - Honda displayed a CB4 Interceptor Concept at the 2017 EICMA that included a fan that uses wind power to generate energy. The bike was built by the company's Rome research and development center and was meant to meld café racer styling with the features of an endurance bike. The wind energy powers a touchscreen on the bike's fuel tank that controls GPS and other electronic features. The fan is built into the motorcycle's headlight housing.
SARASOTA, Fla. - Harley-Davidson has signed on as a "Lifetime Sponsor" of GreenZone Hero and became the exclusive motorcycle sponsor of GreenZone Hero. The GreenZone Hero mission is to recognize businesses that honor the country's veterans. Harley-Davidson will be listed on the GreenZone Hero Founders page and each Harley-Davidson dealership will have the opportunity to have its own page on the GreenZone Hero website.
MADRID - Bultaco revealed its Albero electric motorcycle/bicycle at the EICMA in Milan, Italy. The company says the new bike "is all about fun and getting you places in the big city, and with zero emissions along the way." The Albero is part of the company's Brinco line, which mixes motorcycle and bicycle features for urban transportation. The Albero comes with a combination of electric propulsion-activated by a grip throttle-and independent pedaling, allowing the rider to adjust the level of effort he or she wishes to make.
GOULBURN, New South Wales, Australia - New road repair materials are being blamed for motorcycle crashes, according to a report on MotorbikeRider.com. One rider died in a crash on a bridge near Goulburn. Journalist Mark Hinchliffe visited the area and wrote that "Less than a month after the roadworks were finished and the road returned to 80km/h, hot weather caused the road to literally melt." He continued: "We were able to pick up gummy pieces of tar and could see where the surface was coming loose from a vehicle doing a U-turn." Queensland Main Roads Department intended to place an electronic warning sign on the most dangerous corner, but posted the sign at the wrong location, despite being provided with GPS co-ordinates. "When advised of the error, they promised to change it and to fix the road," according to Hinchliffe.
ISTANBUL, Turkey - A new app with a name derived from the Start Trek TV show helps residents and visitors find a ride on a motorcycle. The app, called Scotty, features a "Beam Me Up" button that summons a motorcyclist to your location. The service is similar to Uber and Lyft, with 2,000 riders logging 150,000 rides since it was introduced. According to a report in USA Today, Scotty is strict about its hiring practices. Riders must have five years of experience, pass Scotty's driving exams, take a psychological evaluation and bring their bikes in for a monthly checkup. The riders' skills are also tested on a track.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Former AMA Board Member Charles R. Goman, of Winder, Ga., passed away Nov. 14 after a long illness. He was 73. Mr. Goman was an AMA member for 34 years and represented the Southeast Region on the AMA Board of Directors from 2009 until 2012. Mr. Goman's widow, Donna, said he was diagnosed with dementia in 2011 and his health issues led to his leaving the AMA Board, but he never lost his enthusiasm for motorcycling.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Today (Dec. 1) is the deadline for nominating an individual or organization for one of the AMA Board of Directors Awards for 2018. The program recognizes the individuals and organizations who have demonstrated leadership, uncommon excellence, and dedication to the AMA mission of promoting the motorcycle lifestyle and protecting the future of motorcycling. Send your nomination to email@example.com or mail it to: AMA Awards Program, American Motorcyclist Association, 13515 Yarmouth Drive, Pickerington, OH 43147. Individuals are encouraged to submit the name of a person or group that may qualify as an applicant for one the AMA Awards. A full list of the award categories can be found at www.americanmotorcyclist.com. When making a nomination, be sure to include the name of the award you wish the nominee to be considered for and, in 500 words or fewer, tell us why you think the person, organization or group stands out. Please, no self-nominations.
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