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E-scooter injuries in US jump 222% in 4 years

By | General Posts

According to a University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) study, electric scooter-related injuries in the US jumped 222 per cent between 2014 and 2018, with over 39,000 people injuring themselves.

San Francisco: E-scooters may have become popular as more people are becoming aware of its benefits and convenience, but there has been a major surge in incidents of injuries related to scooters, particularly among young adults in the US.

According to a University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) study, electric scooter-related injuries in the US jumped 222 per cent between 2014 and 2018, with over 39,000 people injuring themselves.

The number of hospital admissions soared by 365 per cent to a total of nearly 3,300, according to the UCSF study.

“E-scooters are a fast and convenient form of transportation and help to lessen traffic congestion, especially in dense, high-traffic areas,” Benjamin N. Breyer, MD, a UCSF Health urologist and corresponding author, said in a statement.

The rise in the spate of such incidents was also due to the lack of helmets; almost a third of injuries involved some kind of head trauma.

Nearly a third of the patients suffered head trauma — more than twice the rate of head injuries to bicyclists.

About a third of the e-scooter injuries were to women, and people between the ages of 18 and 34 were the most often injured for the first time in 2018.

“But we’re very concerned about the significant increase in injuries and hospital admissions that we documented, particularly during the last year, and especially with young people, where the proportion of hospital admissions increased 354 per cent,” Breyer added.

The UCSF team had previously looked at bicycle injuries using the same data set and found scooter riders had a higher proportion of head injuries, which was also identified in this study.

Motorised scooters have become more ubiquitous in the last few years, particularly within the US’ biggest cities and suburbs, health officials and medical experts across the country grew increasingly alarmed by the number of fractures, dislocations and head injuries appearing in trauma centres.

Regulatory oversight is largely absent about where people can ride scooters and whether helmets are mandatory: Previous research showed that only a fraction of injured e-scooter riders (ranging from 2 per cent to about 5 per cent) wore helmets when they were hurt.

Is a flying motorcycle the future of riding?

By | General Posts

by Chris Best from https://www.wkrg.com

The future of riding, may not be riding at all, but flying. That’s if you can afford it. French auto-maker “Lazarus” is showing off its new “motorcycle” that is more about wings than wheels.

It’s called “La Moto Volante”…sounds fancy right? But it just translates to “flying motorcycle.” Four turbines boost the bike from the ground to the sky…talk about getting in the wind. Downside is it will only fly for about 10 minutes at a time…oh and there’s the price tag.

The company will only be making five of them…and they are $560 thousand dollars each. So although the dream of flying motorcycles may be coming true…It will remain a dream for virtually everyone on the planet.

Rod Copes quits as Royal Enfield North America President

By | General Posts

Before joining Royal Enfield in 2014, Copes worked with Harley Davidson for 20 years.

Former Harley executive Rod Copes has quit from his role of President of Royal Enfield North America, where he was heading the North and Latin America for last 5 years, reveals a LiveMint report.

Copes has previously worked with Harley Davidson for 20 years till August 2014, before joining Royal Enfield.

An alumni of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Copes was a key figure in setting up Royal Enfield’s operations in the USA and Canada. Later in May 2019, he also took over the responsibility of the Latin American market, including Brazil, Colombia and Argentina.

The report claims that Rod Copes will continue his work until the end of February. It quotes a person from the company who said that Copes’ exit could be a blow to Royal Enfield in terms of further expansion of the brand’s presence in North American market.

This is the second big exit among the key persons of the company, after Pierre Terblanche resigned in July 2016. Pierre Terblanche is a famous motorcycle designer, who joined Royal Enfield in November 2014.

In North America, RE has around 100 dealers. The company is aiming to scale up the sales volumes to around 10,000-15,000 units by mid-2020. It is banking on the 650cc models for that goal.

First Harley-Davidson Edition GMC Pickup in history introduced

By | General Posts

Milwaukee – Jan. 10, 2020 –Harley-Davidson Motor Company (NYSE:HOG) and Tuscany Motor Co. will introduce the first Harley-Davidson edition GMC pickup in history at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 11, 2020. Only 250 Harley-Davidson branded GMC® Sierra® trucks will be available through select authorized GMC/Tuscany dealers in North America.  

“Fans have long hungered for a limited edition GMC truck that celebrates their passion for Harley-Davidson motorcycles,” said Jeff Burttschell, Vice President, Tuscany Motor Co. “Working closely with Brad Richards, Vice President of Styling and Design at Harley-Davidson, we created a fantastic truck worthy of the Harley-Davidson name. For the first time in history, it will be possible to rumble down the road in a V8 powered Harley-Davidson edition GMC truck.” 

The new pickup includes over 65 edition-specific components that make the 2020 model truck distinctly Harley-Davidson. The styling was inspired by the famous Harley-Davidson® Fat Boy® model.  

“Harley-Davidson and GMC are two of the most recognizable and admired American brands in the world,” said Jon Bekefy, General Manager of Brand Marketing at Harley-Davidson, Inc. “We’re proud of the new Harley-Davidson edition GMC Sierra. It truly reflects Harley-Davidson’s passion for giving committed riders new ways to share their affinity for the brand and for riding.”

The Tuscany team begins with a GMC Sierra truck and then installs many motorcycle-inspired components. These include Harley-Davidson branded 22” milled aluminum wheels styled and inspired by the Harley-Davidson Fatboy model, a custom tuned exhaust with Harley-Davidson exclusive solid billet aluminum tips, distinctive Harley-Davidson bar and shield badging, stainless steel Harley-Davidson gauges, billet pedals, two-tone diamond stitched and perforated custom leather seating surfaces, and official numbered Harley-Davidson center console badge.

Additional edition-specific components that add to the aggressive look of the truck include, custom tuned BDS suspension lift with upgraded Fox shocks, 35” all-terrain tires, lighted power deploying running boards with unique integrated rocker trim, custom fender flares, functional fender vents, front bumper redesign with integrated LED light bar, custom design Harley-Davidson grille with Bar & Shield insert, replacement functional Harley-Davidson designed induction style hood, rear bumper redesign with custom exhaust ports, Harley-Davidson tailgate appliqué, color-matched Harley-Davidson inspired tonneau cover with debossed Harley-Davidson bar and shield logo, carpeted bed mat with Harley-Davidson logo, Harley-Davidson floor mats, Harley-Davidson door entry sills, custom accent color door, dash and steering wheel trim.

Under the arrangement, Tuscany will provide the GMC Sierra and manufacture the interior and exterior components under Harley-Davidson’s direction. The 2020 Harley-Davidson GMC will be available for delivery to the retail public at select authorized GMC dealers beginning February 2020. GMC dealers and the retail public can also reserve their vehicle by visiting HarleyTruck.com/GMC or calling (817.769.4720).

Motorcycle Legend Colin Seeley Dead At 84

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by Janaki Jitchotvisut from https://www.rideapart.com

Legendary British motorcycle frame builder and racer Colin Seeley passed away after a long illness on January 7, 2020, at the age of 84. A lifelong engineering genius, Seeley’s seemingly endless curiosity combined with a passionate love for motorcycles meant he figured out his life’s general direction from an early age. The motorcycle world was better for it, and indeed, would not be what it is today without his contributions.

Seeley did all kinds of racing from 1954 to 1967, but made a name for himself in sidecar racing. Once retired from that phase of his career, he took up residence in his workshop—and might perhaps be most well-known for the incomparable frames he made for Nortons and other British motorcycles of the day.

However, of significant note as well were the frames he eventually made for ‘70s Japanese motorcycles, such as this sumptuous 1973 Seeley-Kawasaki H2A. By this point, Kawasaki’s engine-building prowess far outstripped the torsional rigidity of its available frames—but Seeley’s excellent engineering and execution handily solved that problem.

Stick these powerful, technically-exemplary-for-their-time engines inside a frame that can properly direct all that power, and you’re in business! Privateer racers loved Seeley frames as well, and he did a thriving business in both road-going and racing machines.

Even now, in the first quarter of the 21st century, vintage racers still win events by riding Seeley-framed machines, including twelve wins at the Manx Grand Prix. In later life, Seeley dedicated his time to charity work, founding the Joan Seeley Pain Relief Memorial Trust in 1979, in honor of his late first wife.

Seeley’s contributions to the motorcycling world will always be valued, and he will be greatly missed. We at RideApart extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends in this difficult time.

Police Aim To Stop Reckless Motorcycle Groups Before They Start Dangerous Stunt Rides

By | General Posts

by Todd Feurer from https://chicago.cbslocal.com/

CHICAGO (CBS) — Responding to growing complaints about packs of reckless motorcycle riders, Chicago police told aldermen they taking a more proactive approach to reining in swarms of bikers who speed down streets and expressways, performing dangerous stunts that put themselves and others at risk.

Stunt rider motorcycle groups have become more popular in recent years, Chicago Police Cmdr. Sean Loughran, who heads the department’s Special Functions Division, said at a City Council Public Safety Committee meeting on the problem.

Office of Emergency Management and Communications executive director Rich Guidice said there were approximately 1,100 calls to 911 last year complaining about dangerous motorcycle groups.

Rather than trying to stop the groups after they’ve started speeding through the city, police said they plan to keep track of the groups on social media, in an effort to stop large stunt rides before they start.

CBS 2’s Jim Williams has previously reported the stunt biker groups, which frequently post social media videos of themselves popping wheelies, speeding down sidewalks, and blowing through red lights and stop signs, sometimes coming within inches of hitting pedestrians crossing the street.

Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), who called on the Chicago Police Department and OEMC to detail their plans to address the dangerous motorcycle groups, said they often ride in groups of 200 to 300 people, speeding down expressways, Lake Shore Drive, and even side streets, ignoring all traffic laws, and putting other motorists and pedestrians in danger.

Loughran said part of the challenge in cracking down on the groups is that chasing them isn’t worth the risk, because it would only put more lives in danger, and actually give the stunt riders what they want – a chance at making a viral video of a police chase.

“These individuals, the worst bad actors, they’re not stopping. In fact, they want you to chase them,” he said. “Many of the riders actively intend to goad law enforcement, on camera, into chases during these drag races, which only heightens the potential danger.”

Police said they plan to focus on using social media to find out when the groups are planning a ride event, and either putting a stop to dangerous motorcycle rallies before they start, or using helicopters to track the groups until they stop, and then handing out tickets, or making arrests if necessary.

“The key to this is when they’re at the rallying points, and swarming with a task force approach,” Loughran said. “We want to flood that area, and get them off their bikes while they’re revving their bikes.”

Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd), who said the stunt riders are a frequent problem on Lower Wacker Drive, said police should also rely on a new ordinance the City Council passed last summer, increasing the penalties for street racing.

Racing drivers now face fines of $5,000 to $10,000 for each offense.

“Lean on that section of the code. Write those violations, because I’ll tell you, a $5,000 ticket, that gets some attention real quick,” Reilly said.

Loughran said police also can sometimes seize a rider’s motorcycle, if they’re arrested for committing a misdemeanor or felony, or if they don’t have the proper license or registration.

“A lot of the motorcycle riders will intentionally never have license plates affixed on their vehicle, or will bend the plates up, or will remove them when going on these rides,” he said.

Police said riders also often outfit their bikes with illegally modified exhaust systems, or simply remove their mufflers, to create more noise. Those violations carry a $500 fine per day.

Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) introduced an ordinance last year that would have required the city to install six noise monitors along Lake Shore Drive to help document the extent of the problem of noisy motorcycle groups.

However, Hopkins said the city already is authorized to install those monitors under a 2017 state law, and he said the mayor’s office has agreed to install them along Lake Shore Drive this year.

The alderman said the data from the noise monitors not only will help police investigating the motorcycle groups, but provide the City Council with data to determine if any laws need to be changed to improve enforcement.

The Cross Country Chase

By | General Posts

Kicking off from the Canadian border and motoring towards the Florida Keys, riders on the Chase lit out on their eight-state odyssey just as the weather witch turned the thermostat down and set to soaking the scenery for exactly half of the group’s 2,368-mile route. If you were betting that crappy weather would dampen the doings, however, you’d be dead wrong. Nothing diminished the heightened anticipation of this inaugural run as enthusiastic riders from 28 states layered on weather gear and set their sights on the warm sun and sandy beaches of Florida.

The exhilaration of the gathering for the group photo along Saint Mary’s River extended to the next day’s gloomy send off from Sault Ste. Marie in the early morning of September 6. Riders headed off into the predawn darkness along Michigan’s rain-soaked roads and, ironically, crossed the fog-enshrouded Mackinac Bridge just as 1,500 antique tractors were crossing the five-mile long Mighty Mac. Coming from the opposite direction, the annual trek of the tractors seemed perfectly timed to accent the Chase crossing. Adding an air of excitement as the motorcyclists passed the tractors, riders simultaneously checked out the tractors while eyeing the steel grate of the bridge into the frigid white-capped waters of Lake Huron below. The unrelenting drizzle kept riders soggy until a welcomed break lasting just long enough to enjoy a nice lunch hosted at the Hagerty Insurance headquarters in Traverse City, Michigan, which was followed closely by the group’s first pop quiz.

Studious riders stood with clipboards, pondering the 10-question, multiple-choice test that was based partly on motorcycle history and partly on scenery along the miles they had just ridden. This exact scenario would play out every day for the duration of the run and would be a general point of consternation for the group. Many feigned test anxiety, but some discovered that the questions served to heighten the awareness of their surroundings during the ride. Either way, testing was the hot topic that evening as pilots discussed the day and readied their machines for the next lap, which included a ride on the historic S.S. Badger.

Dawn broke as riders rolled onto the last functioning coal-fired steam ferry in the world. In service since 1953, the Badger shuttled riders and machines for 62 miles across Lake Michigan. The ship is a moving bit of nautical antiquity and even has an onboard museum, which served to keep anxious Chase riders entertained during the four-hour voyage before docking in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The group would end their day with dinner and a bike show at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee where rider #72, Larry Luce, barely managed to roll into the parking lot before the tire on his 1938 Velocette KSS went completely flat. Luce spent his time before dinner making repairs as a celebration played out across the museum campus. Between the rolling museum of Cross Country Chase bikes displayed outside and the Harley-Davidson exhibit inside, visitors to the museum were well steeped in historic motorcycles of all marques, though some were already starting to show exhaustion. As Stage 3 was flagged off the next morning, James Malone, #05 and Don Gilmore, #22 would both have left the run.

It would be Stage 4, the longest day of the run with 315 miles, before riders would peel off wet weather gear in exchange for the oppressive heat of the south. As the weather leapt into the triple digits, both man and machine began to wear down and one rider was sent home to recuperate from exposure to the heat as CCC staff nurse, Vicki Sanfelipo, was kept busy tending to the group’s health. By the time riders rolled into Harley-Davidson of Bowling Green, Kentucky, one rider’s saddlebag had caught fire and another’s engine shot flames as he tried to kick start his tired machine. It was easily extinguished and Matt Miller, #46, rode his 1947 H-D U off to prepare for the next day’s adventure. One rider crashed and was sent to the hospital for minor wounds, though Mike Bruso and his wife, #42, would rejoin the CCC at the finish line each night.

Scoring was a combination of mileage and testing totals, offset by certain handicaps afforded for things like age of an entry. The varying range of test scores meant the leader board was subject to change on a daily basis, though rider #99, Todd Cameron, took the lead from day one and held the position to the end. Todd’s rare 1930 BSA Sloper was the oldest British bike entered, but not the smallest. That distinction was shared by two bikes: #90, Paul Warrenfelt’s 1935 Triumph as well as #62, Scott Funk’s BSA, both with 250 cc.

There were three categories for Chase machines and each bike was inspected for compliance. Class I motorcycles had the smallest engines and, if successful in getting all the miles, were the most likely to win the race that offered legendary-status bragging rights along with a $7,500 purse. Class I consisted of motorcycles with a displacement of 500cc or less and were required to maintain 45 mph on a straight flat road. Class II were machines with a displacement of 501cc to 1000 cc that could maintain 50 mph on a straight flat road and Class III machines had a displacement of 1001 cc or more that managed 55 mph on a straight flat road. The list of marques consisted of 44 Harley-Davidsons, 15 Indians, three BSAs, three Triumphs and one each of Velocette, Nimbus, Norton and Zundapp. But by September 12, with three days left in the competition, 10 riders had dropped out. The drop list included only one Brit, Scott Funk’s BSA. Scott respectfully chose to withdraw rather than to abuse the old girl once he heard a suspicious lower end clatter.

A total of three women riders signed on for the Chase and all three, Cris Sommer-Simmons, Andrea Labarbara, and Jody Perewitz, arrived to cross the finish line at Mallory Square in Key West with solid numbers. There were three sidecar teams that also included women, two of which saw the checkered flag in Key West. Entrants included teams of brothers, brothers-in-laws and married couples and became a gathering of riders with heart who shared their passion for the sport of motorcycling in a very personal way. By the time the gaggle of riders had navigated their way across the country, most everyone was a family bound by the collective goal of seeing their friends finish the ride beside them.

Some modifications were allowed on the bikes, typically such things as upgraded headlamp, brakes, and fuel capacity. GPS was not allowed, but the addition of a speedometer/odometer in order to maintain accurate mileage was permitted since the route sheets handed out before each morning’s ride were quite complex. One missed turn would serve to knock a rider out of the scoring if he or she came in late.

The well-planned route included a heart-pounding trip over the old Wabash Cannonball Bridge on the Illinois and Indiana borders, cruising the gently rolling hills of Kentucky, a visit to Coker Tires and a train station converted into a hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee, before they had the honor of sharing dinner with the 98-year-old owner of Harley-Davidson of Macon, Georgia. Grover Sassaman and his family invited the Chase to an elegant spaghetti dinner at the family-owned dealership and riders were delighted when the personable and cheerful Grover offered sage advice and wrenching tips on the gathered bikes. He picked out rider #61, Robert Zeolla’s, 1939 H-D EL as what he considered the most original of the Harleys in the group and posed with the bike for photographer Michael Lichter. Lichter had set up temporary studios all along the route to capture the CCC moments and the Sassamans took advantage of the opportunity to sit for a family portrait.

Riders made a stop in front of the Southernmost Point of the Continental U.S. Buoy before promoters Jason and LeeAnn Sims waved the group in with the checkered flag against the bright blue waters surrounding Key West’s Mallory Square. As a last-minute panic, rider #18, Willie Earhart, had a mechanical moment when his 1948 Harley died at the finish line with the minutes ticking down on the final clock. As the gathered crowd reached an exhilarated frenzy, Jason came close and shouted words of encouragement as Willie kicked for all he was worth in the blazing afternoon sun. Finally, after several tense minutes, the engine sputtered and came to life as the crowd screamed in elation. Everyone cheered as Willie pulled onto the pier and, with great relief, dropped his kickstand next to the rest of the overheated Chase machines. Later that evening as the sun set over fans, friends and family that gathered on the beach to watch as awards were presented, there was a collective sense of pride for a journey well done mixed with an air of melancholy as the group realized the magic of the ride had come to an end. And the obvious question was… will there be another Cross Country Chase? Stay tuned race fans… there’s more news to come!

JOIN THE CROSS COUNTRY CHASE 2020 – https://www.scooterscribes.news/the-cross-country-chase/

Bill’s Bikes

By | General Posts

Four Decades of a Dedicated Rider’s Rides

Here’s some of the bikes I’ve had since the late ‘70s. There were several more, but they were just something to roll over and make a few bucks. I am currently buying a ‘98 1200 Sportster slightly wrecked for $1000. I’ll send pictures of what I am doing to it to make money to build my rigid project.

CLICK HERE TO READ THIS PHOTO FEATURE AT BIKERNET

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