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General Posts

Dull Yamaha XSR900 Turns Into Convoluted Naked Racer

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by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

On the market as a naked motorcycle paying tribute to the classic bikes of old, the Yamaha XSR900 somehow manages not to be a real head-turner. At least not in factory specification, because when custom builders get down to business, it turns into something else entirely.

The factory-made motorcycle is as basic as it gets from a design standpoint, lacking all the unnecessary elements that on other two-wheelers cover the front and side. But given enough imagination and just a few extra elements, the XSR900 can look quite appealing.

The motorcycle depicted in the gallery above is called Type 11 and started life as a Yamaha XSR900. It was born after hours and hours of work on three different prototypes, at the hands of a London-based custom builder by the name of Auto Fabrica.

The bike no longer looks bare and simple, but features flowing lines – obvious especially when it comes to the long, curved exhaust – that make you think the bike is no longer slamming against the incoming air, but rather flowing through it.

That’s mostly because of the way in which the fuel tank has been shaped and extended to embrace the handlebars, and then end with the large, round headlight.

The changes made to the Yamaha are not only visual. The Type 11 uses Ohlins forks and socks, the steel exhaust we mentioned earlier, painted black, and carbon-nylon parts in the radiator. Also, there’s Alcantara on the seat and aluminum on the grips.

Auto Fabrica says it will build this bike in limited numbers, and only to order. That means the personalization options go even further, and each client will have the right to ask for the desired specifications.

No pricing for the custom build has been announced. More details on the Auto Fabrica Type 11 can be found at this link.

York City Police Department receives motorcycle donation

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by Valeria De Leon from https://fox43.com

York – It’s the season of giving and one York County police department has a new ride thanks to a local organization.

America’s 911 Foundation donated a brand new 2019 Harley-Davidson police motorcycle to the York City Police Department on Saturday.

Each year, the organization gives away a motorcycle to police departments, this one is the 20th one they have donated to police.

Chief Troy Bankert York City Police said the motorcycle unlike a vehicle, helps them spark a conversation with the community and better their relationship.

“It gives us a good opportunity to interact with the community without being inside of a car, it’s more personal but at the same time it lets us have some mobility,” said Chief Bankert.

“These are people who protect us and put their lives on the line every day,” said Roger Flick, America’s 911 Foundation promotions manager, “and they want to keep their community safe and we want to help them do that.”

The organization also holds a motorcycle ride to remember those who lost their lives on September 11th.

The York Police Department takes part in that ride, so organizers said they were more than happy to announce the winners of this year’s raffle.

28th Annual YOKOHAMA HOT ROD CUSTOM SHOW REPORT Dec. 1, 2019 at Pacifico Yokohama

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On 2019 December 1st (Sun) at Pacifico Yokohama, YOKOHAMA HOT ROD CUSTOM SHOW was held. This year is the 6th year for the campaign. 5 years have passed from the start of this campaign and as an organizer awareness is getting low that the YOKOHAMA HOT ROD CUSTOM SHOW facing difficulty surviving so, we returned to the origin and worked for “Shi Zu Kani” / “Keep Calm and Stay CQQL”. On the day of the show, we have prohibited the enter by 2-wheels again this year. Thanks to everyone from all over the world who want to save this culture and spread the information by posting on Instagram. Because of everyone’s cooperation, this year was also quiet like the recent years and we were able to hold this wonderful show by everyone’s great support and cooperation. Thank you very much.

To enjoy this Kulture together for next year, we would appreciate your continued support.

There were 19,000 spectators (from overseas 1,900 people) who came from all over the world and, this year’s 28th Annual YOKOHAMA HOT ROD CUSTOM SHOW 2019 was filled with tremendous enthusiasm. Event Report is now released so, please enjoy it for both those who came and unfortunately could not come.

–MOONEYES Staff

They need to explain the prohibit by 2-wheels. –Bandit

Your Weekly MRF Biker Bulletin from Inside the Beltway

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RIDING FREE FROM DC:

Your Motorcycle Riders Foundation team in Washington, D.C. is pleased to provide our members with the latest information and updates on issues that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. Count on your MRF to keep you informed about a range of matters that are critical to the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle. Published weekly when the U.S. Congress is in session.

Autonomous Vehicle Hearing Follow Up:
At nearly every Congressional hearing, lawmakers are allowed to submit additional questions for the record to the witnesses. This enables lawmakers to ask specific and detailed questions, and it forces witnesses to respond in writing to these questions.

Following the Senate hearing on autonomous vehicles (AVs) two weeks ago, Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) submitted two official questions for the record directed to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

  1. Many stakeholders have requested that AVs meet a “vision test” safety standard to ensure driverless vehicles are able to effectively identify and respond to all roadway users including motorcyclists, pedestrians, and cyclists. What is NHTSA’s position on prescribing such standards?  Would third party verification of such standards be an approach that NHTSA would recommend?
  2. As AV technology and testing continues to increase, does NHTSA support transparent reporting by manufacturers of test results so that members of the public can review the data? Specifically, would searchable data about how these new products interact with non-AV roadway users like motorcyclists, pedestrians and cyclists be an important tool for the public?

We at the MRF are eager to see the responses from NHTSA. Thank you, Senator Blunt, for pressing NHTSA to think about basic safety standards and the need for transparent reporting by AV manufacturers. We’d also like to thank the riders in Missouri for helping build a strong relationship with Senator Blunt’s office and educating him on the priorities of motorcyclists.

Show Leather Lobbying
This week, the MRF D.C. team hit something of a milestone. We completed our 227th in-person meeting this year with House of Representative offices on H. Res 255, the motorcyclist profiling resolution. There are 435 Members of the House of Representatives, meaning that we have now physically been in the office of over half of the House offices on Capitol Hill (technically we are at 52%).

What have we learned during those 200 plus meetings? First, there is no substitute for an in-person meeting. Sitting across the table from staff talking about motorcycles is just more powerful than sending an email or making a phone call.

Second, to paraphrase Forrest Gump, “You never know what you are going to get.” We have walked into meetings confident we will find an ally only to be disappointed. Conversely, we’ve started a meeting thinking we had no chance for success only to be pleasantly surprised. That’s why it’s important to show up and ask because you really never know!

Third, our members make an impression. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve mentioned our relationship with the SMRO’s and the Congressional staffer says, “Oh yeah I remember them, they were here in May.” Your work during Bikers Inside the Beltway and at local events back home matters! The staff remembers how passionate and committed you are, and it helps lay a solid foundation for the D.C. team.

We will continue to pound the Halls of Congress, but we made sure to ask Santa for more business cards and comfortable shoes so we can maintain the fight in 2020.

Standing Update:
We are currently at 120 cosponsors from 42 states and one territory for H. Res 255, the motorcyclist profiling resolution. An additional 2 new cosponsors from 2 new states (Connecticut & Kansas) have joined since our last update. The map below shows which states have at least one lawmaker signed on as a cosponsor.   Is your state not filled in yet?  Check with the D.C.  team about how we can work together to secure cosponsors from your state.

Click HERE to see if your member has signed on to H. Res 255.

About Motorcycle Riders Foundation
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders. The MRF is chiefly concerned with issues at the national and international levels that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. The MRF is committed to being a national advocate for the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle and works in conjunction with its partners to help educate elected officials and policymakers in Washington and beyond.

More heads roll over Harley smuggling in Indonesia

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Indonesian finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, third left, and Minister of State-Owned Enterprise Eric Thohir, right, inspect a Harley Davidson motorcycle found by customs officials on a Garuda Indonesia’s new Airbus A330-900 being delivered from France, prior to the start of a press conference in Jakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. Indonesia’s state-owned enterprise minister says he will fire and seek the prosecution of the head of the national airline after he was implicated in the smuggling the motorcycle into the country on the new jet. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

Some Garuda directors suspended following CEO’s alleged attempt to evade tax on big bike

JAKARTA: The flag carrier Garuda Indonesia is suspending directors linked to the alleged smuggling of a Harley Davidson motorcycle by its chief executive, the airline’s chief commissioner said on Saturday.

State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir earlier announced his intention to fire the airline’s CEO, Ari Askhara, for allegedly trying to evade tax by bringing into the country a Harley Davidson motorbike onboard a new Airbus plane being delivered from France.

Askhara has been suspended pending a shareholders’ meeting to determine his fate.

Thohir said the smuggling also involved at least one other Garuda employee based in Europe who helped transfer the payment and assisted in the delivery of the motorbike. He said the investigation would continue to ascertain whether more employees were involved.

Sahala Lumban Gaol, chief commissioner of Garuda, said on Saturday that members of the board of directors who were “indicated to have been involved directly or indirectly” in the incident had been suspended.

He declined to name the suspended directors or say how many were affected.

Askhara has not responded publicly to the accusations of smuggling. Reuters made repeated unsuccessful attempts to contact him for comment.

Chief financial officer Fuad Rizal has been named acting CEO until a shareholders’ meeting to formally name a new chief is held, Garuda said in a statement on Friday.

Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi on Friday Garuda would be fined for not including the motorbike in the cargo list. The motorbike had been torn down and the parts packed in separate boxes.

Two expensive undeclared Brompton bicycles were also found onboard the plane.

–Bangkok Post

Royal Enfield Donates More Than $100,000 in Motorcycles, Parts to Youth Program

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Royal Enfield and BUILD Moto Mentor Program Partner to Benefit Wisconsin Students

Royal Enfield Donates More Than $100,000 in Motorcycles, Parts to Youth Program

MILWAUKEE (Nov. 22, 2019) —​​Royal Enfield​ and ​BUILD Moto Mentor Program​ are joining forces in a unique partnership designed to use motorcycles to build positive futures forWisconsin high school students. The BUILD program is a non-profit educational organizationthat pairs teams of high school students with bike-building mentors for the opportunity to learntrade and technical skills. Through a new multi-year partnership, Royal Enfield will donate 16Classic 500 motorcycles to the program along with parts, support and technical trainingmentors. The organization hopes the partnership will allow BUILD to grow the number of highschools in Wisconsin able to participate in the program.

Now in its tenth year, BUILD provides students with opportunities to learn trade skills includingdesign, welding, fabrication, mechanical repair and machining as they relate to the motorcycleindustry. In addition to acquiring technical skills, teams also participate in marketing andfundraising efforts promoting the program and host local events showcasing their work, growingtheir exposure to professional and life skills.

“The partnership with Royal Enfield opens up many opportunities for us, not only in the ability toimmediately support more teams, but also explore additional benefits we can provide to theparticipating students. We are excited for the future of the program with the partnership of RoyalEnfield here in Milwaukee as they share our passion to bring motorcycling and STEM-relatedskills to youth,” said Kevin Frank, president of BUILD Moto.

Last year, Royal Enfield’s flagship dealer in Milwaukee mentored a team, and for the past twoyears the brand was the presenting sponsor of the Brewtown Rumble, a vintage motorcycle show that serves as the program’s largest fundraiser. “We were eager to increase ourinvolvement with BUILD after seeing firsthand the positive results it has on the youth here in theMilwaukee area,” said Rod Copes, president of Royal Enfield Americas. “We recognize thebenefits of engaging youth in the motorcycling industry early on and are honored to helpparticipants acquire skills that will serve them well today and into adulthood.”

This year’s program starts in December, with teams required to meet at least once a weekthrough winter and spring. Other local businesses, such as Indian Motorcycle of MetroMilwaukee, are also integral to the program as the sponsors of the Dyno Day, where all teamsare invited to bring their builds to the Muskego location and receive a dyno run.

Student teams will ultimately compete for a final award, the Royal Enfield BUILD Cup, which willbe presented at the largest outdoor motorcycle show, Brewtown Rumble, sponsored by RoyalEnfield in June.

About BUILD – Founded by ​The Iron Horse Hotel​​in 2011, BUILD is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to pairing teams of high school students with bike-building mentors in a collectiveeffort to learn valuable life and interpersonal skills while working on motorcycles. http://buildmoto.com/

About Royal Enfield – The oldest motorcycle company in continuous production in the world, Royal Enfield made itsfirst motorcycle in 1901. A division of Eicher Motors Limited, Royal Enfield has created the mid-size motorcycle segment in India with its unique and distinctive modern classic motorcycles.With its manufacturing base in Chennai, India, Royal Enfield has been able to grow itsproduction rapidly against a surge in demand for its motorcycles. Royal Enfield is a leadingplayer in the global middleweight motorcycle market.

Royal Enfield North America (RENA) is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and isdeveloping a growing network of more than 90 dealers in North America, including the U.S.,Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. RENA currently offers the Bullet 500, Classic 500, Himalayan and the all new 650 Twins: INT 650 and Continental GT 650 motorcycles along with a range ofgenuine motorcycle accessories and apparel.

For more information on Royal Enfield North America, please visit

www.RoyalEnfield.com/us/en/​, ​www.Instagram.com/RoyalEnfield_NA​,www.Facebook.com/RoyalEnfieldNorthAmerica​.

Just Released–The Speed Kings by Don Emde

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The Rise and Fall of Motordrome Racing Book
Don Emde presents the birth, evolution and eventual demise of motordrome racing with amazing illustrations and rare historical materials. The Speed Kings: The Rise and Fall of Motordrome Racing, by Don Emde includes 600 illustrations and 40 chapters over 372 pages. Four-color sepia tone throughout, and printed right here in the United States of America! Foreword by Kenny Roberts.
ONLY $75.00

TEN Publishing Is Shuttering 19 Car Magazines

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by Greg Dool from https://www.foliomag.com/

TEN Publishing will shutter 19 of its 22 automotive magazines by the end of the year, leaving MotorTrend, Hot Rod and Four Wheeler as the only three titles that will continue to be published in print in 2020.

According to a memo sent to staffers at MotorTrend Group Friday morning and obtained by Folio:, titles going out of print include Automobile, Lowrider, Truck Trend and Vette, among several others. A full list can be found below.

“It was announced today that TEN Publishing will discontinue publishing 19 of its 22 automotive print titles by the end of the year,” wrote MotorTrend Group president and GM Alex Wellen in the memo. “I know this is difficult news, but I want to assure you that we remain committed to you and your pursuit to deliver quality automotive storytelling and journalism across all of our content platforms.”

MotorTrend Group, a joint venture formed in 2017 and majority owned by Discovery, Inc., comprises the digital and video businesses of the company formerly known as The Enthusiast Network, whereas TEN Publishing controls those brands’ print magazines. Under a licensing agreement, MotorTrend Group provides editorial and ad sales support to TEN, producing content for both MotorTrend Group’s digital platforms and TEN’s magazines.

“Simply put, we need to be where our audience is,” Wellen continued in the memo. “Tens of millions of fans visit MotorTrend’s digital properties every month, with the vast majority of our consumption on mobile, and 3 out of every 4 of our visitors favoring digital content over print.”

“While TEN Publishing will no longer print the following magazines,” he wrote, “[MotorTrend Group] will continue to offer our audiences and advertisers digital coverage for these discontinued print titles online,” adding that subscribers to the shuttered magazines will be offered digital subscriptions to MotorTrend, Hot Rod or Four Wheeler as well as MotorTrend‘s video streaming service.

The memo didn’t explicitly warn of impending layoffs at MotorTrend Group as a result of the changes at TEN, but did notify staffers of the creation of a one-time voluntary separation program, in which some editors and salespeople will be given the option to resign in exchange for “special separation benefits.”

“We created the VSP to empower eligible employees to be a part of the decision-making process around how we evolve the business,” Wellen told staffers. “The next phase of our growth is crucial, and many of you will need to make some important decisions.”

In a statement provided to Folio:, MotorTrend Group said it is “doubling down on our best-in-class digital product experiences, while maintaining our support of the three most popular, profitable and strategic brands across digital and print—MotorTrend, Hot Rod and Four Wheeler.”

A Tweet sent Friday from Automobile‘s account seemed to confirm that the brand would live on digitally.

“While TEN Publishing will no longer print Automobile Magazine, MotorTrend Group will continue to offer our digital coverage,” it said. “On the web, it’s full steam ahead.”

The publisher of more than 60 enthusiast magazines as recently as five years ago, Source Interlink Media was rebranded TEN: The Enthusiast Network in 2014 after its parent company, Source Interlink, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy following the collapse of its magazine wholesaling business.

In 2017, TEN formed a joint venture with Discovery, Inc. that would combine the company’s, automotive digital, DTC, social and live events businesses—essentially everything other than its automotive print magazines and its adventure sports brands—with Discovery’s Velocity TV network. That venture, majority owned by Discovery with backing from GoldenTree Asset Management, was rebranded MotorTrend Group a few months later.

“While TEN’s print businesses will not be contributed to the new venture, a commercial agreement will allow for continued cross-promotion between the print portfolio and the new venture for a true multiplatform, 360-degree advertising offering,” read an August 2017 statement announcing the venture.

Earlier this year, TEN Publishing sold its 14-title adventure sports portfolio, including Bike, Powder and Surfer magazines as well as the Dew Tour event series, to National Enquirer publisher American Media, LLC for an undisclosed sum.

Here’s a full list of discontinued titles:

  • 4-Wheel & Off-Road 
  • Automobile 
  • Car Craft 
  • Chevy High Performance 
  • Classic Trucks  
  • Diesel Power 
  • Hot Rod Deluxe  
  • Jp 
  • Lowrider 
  • Mopar Muscle 
  • Muscle Car Review 
  • Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords 
  • Mustang Monthly 
  • Street Rodder 
  • Super Chevy  
  • Super Street 
  • Truck Trend  
  • Truckin’ 
  • Vette

Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man

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by Chris Bumbray from https://www.joblo.com

THE STORY: The year is 1996 – the future. A biker (Mickey Rourke) and his cowboy pal (Don Johnson) team up to save their favorite bar from going under. To pull this off, they plan a heist but wind up in possession of a massive load of a popular new street drug called “Crystal Dream.”

THE PLAYERS: Starring: Mickey Rourke, Don Johnson, Chelsea Field, Giancarlo Esposito, Tom Sizemore, and Daniel Baldwin. Directed by Simon Wincer.

“I was fortunate enough to work on a film with Don, the only bad part was-the director sucked, but Don knew so much about behind the camera stuff, he used to tell director where to put the camera. It would be my pleasure to let anyone know Don Johnson is a very great actor and has been underrated for many years. I mean the guy so good looking, all he has to do is blink and you can’t take your eyes off him.- Mickey Rourke’s Instagram

THE HISTORY: Both Mickey Rourke and Don Johnson were in transition in 1991. Rourke was coming off of a slew of disastrous films, including the much-maligned WILD ORCHID and DESPERATE HOURS, while Johnson was still struggling to establish himself as a leading man in the wake of “Miami Vice” finishing its TV run. Thus, the two signed on to do this high profile, big-budget action flick, which I’m sure seemed like a can’t miss proposition at the box office to them both – this being the heyday of R-rated action.

Suffice to say, the movie was met with uniform hostility from critics, with many mocking the product placement in the title, with the leads being named after their favorite brand of motorcycle and cigarette. BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID this was not. It wasn’t helped that the film was marred by Rourke and Johnson publicly bad-mouthing it before it opened. In the end, the film’s box office performance wound up being disastrous, grossing only $7.4 million domestic. Ouch.

WHY IT’S GREAT: HARLEY DAVIDSON & THE MARLBORO MAN benefits tremendously from the second wave of popularity both of its leading men got later in their careers. At the time, Mickey Rourke was seen as a pain in the ass who squandered his talent and to be sure, the man soon left Hollywood altogether to take up boxing, only to finally make a huge comeback with THE WRESTLER years later. Whether or not his reputation was earned is questionable, but in hindsight, many of his late eighties films hold up well, so perhaps there was something else going on in the minds of critics. Ditto Don Johnson, who was trying to break out from TV, something you just didn’t do back then. You were either a TV actor or a film actor. You’d get the occasional Bruce Willis or Denzel Washington, but for the most part, the jump just wasn’t made – which is a shame as Johnson made some good flicks in the era, including DEAD BANG and the crazy underrated THE HOT SPOT.

Flash-forward to 2019 and both stars are icons in their way. While Rourke’s never-ending series of DTV movies have marred his rep somewhat, he also did THE WRESTLER and proved beyond a reasonable doubt that he’s still got it where it counts. As for Johnson, he beat the comeback trail with the great COLD IN JULY and contributed memorable roles to films like BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99 and ALEX OF VENICE. With KNIVES OUT in theaters and his role on HBO’s “Watchmen” getting him some of the best notices of his career, Johnson is back in the limelight, making this the opportune moment to revisit HARLEY DAVIDSON AND THE MARLBORO MAN.

I’ll be the first to admit – this isn’t a great film. But, if you can take it as goofy fun evocative of its time, it’s a memorable little lost nineties gem. You get exactly what kind of movie this is gonna be right off the bat, where Rourke foils a convenience store robbery to save a pretty young cashier (played by Kelly Hu) while Ted Wass (of “Blossom”!) snarls, “I’m gonna cut you long, wide and deep motorhead!” It’s a modern (for the time) version of an old Roger Corman B-movie, and in many ways predicted the FAST & FURIOUS franchise, with the emphasis on close-knit groups of outlaws becoming “family” and fetishized vehicles, here being motorbikes rather than cars.

Rourke takes the piss out of his role, with Harley a tough guy, but also one nursing a broken heart, with the best twist being that he has no idea how to fire a gun despite his best efforts. Similarly, Johnson brings an outlaw swagger to his denim cowboy part and had this been a better film, you could easily see the two leading a whole series – but the film just isn’t quite good enough.

I’d wager the problems stem from poor villains, with Tom Sizemore appropriately oily, although he should have been second fiddle. Ditto Daniel Baldwin, who doesn’t seem enough of a physical threat to the hulking Rourke or Johnson for that matter. Yet, the film has some decent action set pieces and a fun supporting cast, including a very young Giancarlo Esposito and Vanessa Williams. Plus, the score by Basil Poledouris is excellent, with good use of Bon Jovi’s “Wanted: Dead or Alive”.

BEST SCENE: Johnson’s swaggering Marlboro Man is a cool creation and he seems to be having the time of his life playing the part to its hilt. I especially like when he lays out his philosophy of life while kicking ass at the pool (Johnson seemed to have mad skills – with both this and “Miami Vice” frequently showing off how good he was behind a cue).

PARTING SHOT: Again, I hesitate to call this one a classic, but it’s an action flick I enjoy watching with some pals and a couple of beers. Heck, I make no bones about the fact that I’m a big fan of both leading actors and it’s an interesting look at a franchise that could have been with a better script and more creative direction.

A soldier tried to buy a motorcycle in Anchorage. His lawyer says he was targeted by a ‘yo-yo scam’

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by Zachariah Hughes from https://www.alaskapublic.org

This past August, Army Specialist Austin Deehan bought a 2014 Harley Davidson from a dealership in south Anchorage.

“It felt great. It was a beautiful bike,” Deehan said.

He made a $2,599 down payment, and financed the remaining $10,630 with at a decent interest rate.

But 19 days later, when he called the bank about setting up monthly payments, they told him the loan had never been approved. That, Deehan said, is when he knew something was wrong.

On Tuesday, Deehan filed a civil case in state Superior Court alleging misconduct by a local car dealership over a financial arrangement critics call a “yo-yo scam.” Though hardly a blockbuster piece of litigation, it highlights something federal regulators, lawyers, and financial services observers say is commonplace: nationally, military service members are some of the most commonly targeted demographics for credit and financing scams.

When Deehan spoke to the bank he believed was financing his loan, they told him the denial was because his application was missing paperwork.

He went back to the dealership, Chevrolet of South Anchorage, where he was told that since the financing deal didn’t go through he would need to take out a more expensive loan, he said.

“They gave me two options: Either I could refinance the bike with a higher interest rate, or I could return the motorcycle and lose my whole down payment,” Deehan said.

That’s when Deehan sought out legal assistance at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, where he is stationed. His complaint was filed by the Northern Justice Initiative, a private firm that handles civil rights cases. According to Nick Feronti, one of the lawyers on the case, the dealership wrongly told Deehan that if he returned the motorcycle the company would keep the full balance of the down payment, plus charge him hefty mileage and daily-use fees that are generally prohibited under Alaska law.

“The dealership actually tried to use an illegal contract to coerce him,” Feronti said. “The way the law is supposed to work is: they tell you you have financing, and then if you don’t get approved, well you can bring the vehicle back and get your down payment back.”

He believes the actions alleged are a textbook example of a “yo-yo scam.”

“These dealerships will count on consumers to buy a car, buy a motorcycle,” Feronti said. “You go home and show it off to your family and you’re feeling really happy about it. And then later on you learn that for whatever reason you actually have to accept much worse financing.”

Reached by phone, Chevrolet of South Anchorage General Manager David Raff wouldn’t agree to a recorded interview. He had not seen the complaint, and said he was only able to speak in general terms. But he defended the business’s practices, saying there are no shady financing deals or use-fees, in part because in a state as small as Alaska those kinds of things would damage the company’s reputation. Asked about an allegation in the complaint that Raff called Deehan in September and “threatened to make his ‘life a living hell’ unless he immediately returned the motorcycle,” Raff said it wouldn’t be appropriate to comment on a specific legal case. He added that if there were those kinds of complaints against the business, they should be assessed against the company’s otherwise strong record.

Online, that record does not look great.

In the last three years, 10 complaints have been filed with the Better Business Bureau against Chevrolet of South Anchorage, ranging from accusation of shoddy mechanical work to what sound like predatory financing arrangements. With 29 reviews, the business has two stars on Yelp, many of them making similar complaints.

The dealership is part of Lithia Motors, one of the country’s largest car retailers. Over the years, Lithia has had multiple class action lawsuits filed against it over business practices. Kara Southard, corporate counsel for Lithia Motors, said she had received the complaint in the Anchorage case, but was not able to comment on it.

State officials in Alaska recognize that servicemembers are frequent targets of scams.

“There’s national data out there that says that a lot of scams are perpetrated against members of the military, that’s a really common thing,” said John Haley, the assistant district attorney in charge of the Department of Law’s Fraud Division.

Those complaints are often taken up by U.S. Government agencies like the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Department of Justice, all of which have special efforts to specifically combat fraud against active duty military and veterans. According to Haley, state offices like his don’t get a large volume of calls from active-duty military, but they understand the reasons they are often targeted.

“Scammers want go after members of the military because they have very steady paychecks that are guaranteed by the government,” Haley said. “And because so many of the members of the military are relatively young people who are getting money and getting paychecks for the first time.”

Eventually, Specialist Deehan got his down payment back. He’s suing the car dealership for damages of up to $10,000 plus legal costs. And he wants the dealership to agree to halt the lending practices he believes are wrong.

“There’s guys out there that are fresh out of high school that I work with, and if they went through the same situation that I went through they probably would have signed another contract” Deehan said. “That’s just not ok.”

Deehan no longer has the Harley Davidson, but hopes to get another after he leaves the Army next year.