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Polaris Breaks Ground on Major Facility Expansion

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Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE:  PII) today broke ground on an expansion of the Company’s Product Development Center near Wyoming, Minn. Since opening in 2005, the 126,000 square foot research and development facility has been pivotal in Polaris’ ascent to the top of the global powersports market.

“Opening the Wyoming facility seven years ago reinforced Polaris’ dedication to leading through innovation,” said Scott Wine, Polaris CEO.  “Continuously improving our technology, and incorporating those advances into our vehicles, is the cornerstone of our success, and expanding our Product Development Center paves the way for its future contributions.”

Wine, along with other Polaris executives and political and civic leaders, took center stage at the groundbreaking ceremony earlier today, driving shovels into the ground in a ceremonial start to the construction project. The event also was attended by Polaris employees and notable Minnesotan politicians and business leaders, including U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Congressman Chip Cravaack and Commissioner Mark Phillips of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

“We are thankful for our continued partnership with Polaris, and excited that they chose to expand operations here in Minnesota,” DEED Commissioner Phillips said.  “This investment is an important boost to the local economy and will help maintain Polaris’ place as an industry leader and innovator.”

GREATER MSP, the region’s economic development partnership, coordinated the involvement of Polaris, Chisago County, the City of Wyoming, and DEED, to compile a package of financial incentives to help Polaris expand. A combination of job training support, infrastructure improvements, R & D credits, JOBZ financing and other incentives provided a unique opportunity for Polaris’ project.

The expansion of the Wyoming facility will add 144,000 square feet to the existing building, more than doubling its size. This new space will provide large work bays for off-road vehicles, flexible conference and display space, a new electrical lab, and a new EMI room. The extra space will also allow expansion of the café and kitchen and add a new parking lot for additional employees. The construction effort will be led by Ryan Companies, US, the same firm that led construction on the original building in 2005.

“We were excited when Polaris chose Ryan to construct its Product Development Center in 2005, and we’re feeling that excitement again as we partner with Polaris to expand the facility,” said Pat Ryan, CEO and president, Ryan Companies, US, Inc. “Ryan is similar to Polaris in many ways, from our values to our rich history and Minnesota roots. It’s our privilege to partner with another great company on a project like this. We look forward to getting started.”

The project is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2013.

L.A. firefighters Test Motorcycle Response Unit

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From the Los Angeles Times


Los Angeles firefighters are testing a two-wheeled way to respond to incidents in the traffic-snarled city: motorcycles.

The Los Angeles Fire Department's pilot motorcycle response team is a five-man unit being used to speed to the side of an injured victim, provide information to dispatchers and skirt traffic to scout fires and other problems.

The unit first rode during last year's "Carmageddon" closure of the 405 Freeway, and its next deployment is to take place during a follow-up closure this weekend, when workers will demolish the other half of the Mulholland Drive bridge overhead.

Fire departments serving traffic-snarled cities around the nation have adopted similar motorcycle teams to improve response times, staff special events and, in some cases, save lives and resources. As the L.A. Fire Department faces budget cuts and intense scrutiny over response times that lag behind national standards, some believe that a motorcycle unit could help the department.

The pilot unit features five off-road-capable motorcycles on loan from the Kawasaki Motor Corp. Each bike retails for about $6,300 and is outfitted with a defibrillator, a small fire extinguisher, various medical supplies and a handlebar-mounted GPS system. A dozen firefighters have undergone the necessary training, and a permanent unit could have up to 10 motorcycles and 28 riders, said Capt. Craig White, who first proposed the unit to the department.

White said he'd thought about creating a motorcycle unit for years, and last year's 405 closure — shutting down 10 miles of one of the nation's busiest freeways — presented the ideal test. The department already had a bicycle medic unit for events such as the L.A. Marathon.

Though the nightmare Carmageddon traffic jams that officials feared never materialized, the motorcycle unit had an opportunity to show what it could do earlier this month.

As a 70-acre brush fire stopped traffic on the 405 and caused the evacuation of the Getty Center, firefighter Greg Pascola and his partner reached the command post within three minutes — even before helicopters could reach the site. They were handed radios and began to map the blaze, weaving between cars, hopping sidewalks and navigating narrow, curving mountain roads.

"At the time, we were the only ones out there to scout," Pascola said.

LAFD Chief Brian Cummings said motorcycles could be "one of the solutions" the department considers for improving response times.

"Do I see the motorcycles supplanting larger vehicles? No. There's always going to be a need to bring heavy equipment and large numbers of individuals," Cummings said. "They each have a role. They're each tools in the toolbox."

White, a motorcycle enthusiast since high school, said the unit's biggest selling point is its flexibility.

"Right now," he said, "we just want to see what we can do with them."

No-Hand Motorcycle Ride for Parkinson's Research

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For the third year in a row I will be riding my Harley Davidson motorcycle, without using my hands to navigate, in order to raise funds for Parkinson's research. This year, I will attempt to finish what I set out to do last year and ride from the south side of the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan, to Covington, Kentucky. This ride will be a total of 525 miles, non stop, as well as no handed, and will again set a new world record.

I do this ride in remembrance of my father, Robert E.Comar, who passed in 2008 because of complications caused by Parkinson's disease. His strength of character and perseverance in his struggle with this disease gives me my personal drive and determination to do what ever I can to help find a cure for others. I feel it is the only thing that will help offset the helplessness I felt as I watched him progressively diminish over the years until he was unable to do the simplest things in life that most of us take for granted.

I have planned several fund raising events around this ride and with the help of family, friends, and all the supporters, I believe we can achieve the goal of $25,000 to aid in finding a cure for Parkinson's disease. Please join me in my efforts to make sure no one ever has to go through what my father and many others have, and are enduring.

Five million people worldwide are living with Parkinson's disease, a chronic, degenerative, neurological disorder. In the United States, 60,000 new cases will be diagnosed this year alone. There is no known cure for Parkinson's disease.

About Team Fox:

Team Fox is The Michael J. Fox Foundation's (MJFF) grassroots community fundraising program.  It is made up of thousands of people worldwide who raise funds and awareness for Parkinson's disease research.  All funds raised through Team Fox go directly to MJFF to further its mission to accelerate the delivery of life-changing treatments, and ultimately a cure, to people with Parkinson's disease.

Help us speed a cure for Parkinson's!

Thank You in advance, Phil Comar


Hit the logo below if you want to help.

Stage 5 Provides Paint for the Bikernet / Cycle Source 15th Anniversary Giveaway Chopper

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Stage 5 Coatings is providing the paint and chemicals needed to create a custom paint job on the Bikernet/Cycle Source 15th Anniversary Giveaway Chopper, sponsored by XPress Lid and Spectro Oil, which is being awarded at the 2012 Las Vegas Bikefest. 


Kustoms Inc. has been working away since the first of the year to get the chopper ready for the winner of the Bikernet/Cycle Source drawing. The last piece before final assembly is custom paint. Ron Harris, owner of Chop Doc's Choppers, is taking care of the chore with a black and silver theme. 


"We are excited to be part of the Bikernet/Cycle Source 15th Anniversary Giveaway Chopper project and are looking forward to seeing the artistic renderings from Chop Doc's Choppers," said Ken Dudley, President, Stage 5 Coatings. "Harris knows the alchemy of taking Stage 5 paint and steel and turning a bad-ass chopper into a show-stopper."


Cycle Source Magazine and are showcasing the build from the ground up. Each month Cycle Source Magazine runs an article from the build team. Videos and additional articles are hosted at and


"Builders and painters who know paint, know that Stage 5 Coatings is quality paint that provides smooth, reliable, and outstanding finishes," said Chris Callen, Editor of Cycle Source Magazine. "The paint system utilizes a state-of-the-art resin technology that provides exceptional adhesion to properly prepared sheet metal, aluminum, galvanized, and plastic substrates."


Product sponsors for the Bikernet/Cycle Source 15th Anniversary Giveaway Chopper include Stage 5 Coatings, Rivera Primo Inc., 3 Guyz, ACCEL Motorcycles, Aeromach USA, Biker's Choice, Barnett Clutches, Bell Helmets, Crazy Horse Motorcycles, D&D Exhaust, Evil Engineering, Fab Kevin, Hawg Halters, Grip Ace, Rocking K Custom Leathers, Spectro Performance Oils, Texas Bike Works, Wire Plus, and XPress Lid by SmartCup.

No Need For Loud Pipes, Driverless Cars Save Lives…?

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From Forbes, edited by Canyon Carver

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed a law making it legal for driverless cars to travel on public roadways.

It’s not that smart minds in Detroit, Japan and Germany aren’t already working on autonomous cars. They’ve been doing so for years. But as with most new technologies, automotive engineers want to make absolutely certain that they’re safe and perform as expected before launching into mass production. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration agrees, of course, which is why it recently launched the first real-world test of vehicle-to-vehicle communication near Ann Arbor, Mich.

But Google, which has already developed a fleet of driverless cars that some of its employees use to commute to work, was eager to press ahead. It lobbied heavily for the California law, which would allow testing of autonomous vehicles on the state’s roadways as long as there’s a fully licensed human in the driver’s seat to take over if needed.

“Today, we’re looking at science fiction becoming tomorrow’s reality,” Gov. Brown said during a news conference at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. “This self-driving car is another step forward in this long march of California pioneering the future and leading not just the country, but the whole world.”

California, of course, has led the way toward cleaner vehicles, often adopting stricter laws than the federal government to control greenhouse gases and combat global warming. Other states, primarily in the Northeast, have followed suit. In 2008, California sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for trying to block its enactment of tough new rules on tailpipe emissions. Most automakers sided with the EPA, saying it would be impractical for each state to dictate its own emissions standards. Critics accused the carmakers of dragging their feet on fuel economy. All sides eventually reached an agreement, but the push from California undoubtedly influenced the EPA’s sharply higher fuel economy standards, which require carmakers to achieve a fleetwide average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

When it comes to driverless cars, California is actually the third state to authorize them, behind Nevada and Florida. But it is by far the most influential. “It’s significant because California is a big state, a first mover and really a big player,” Ryan Calo, a law professor at the University of Washington who studies autonomous vehicle law, told the New York Times. “It’s a good signal for the other states.”

Driverless cars have the potential to make roads safer because digital messages will allow vehicles to stay in constant communication with one another. Google co-founder Sergey Brin points to other benefits, too: greater mobility for people with disabilities, more productivity for commuters now stuck in traffic, less congestion and less pollution.

“It really has the power to change people’s lives,” he said.

"Who cares?" Sez Bandit. (above photo) "I've been doin' it for years anyway!"

New Soft Lowers Fit Many Harley-Davidson Models

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The new full-coverage Soft Lowers ($89.99 to $99.95) from Harley-Davidson® Genuine Motor Accessories® can extend the riding season by providing wind and mud protection for the rider's legs and boots, and minimizing cold updrafts. These covers are custom-shaped to hug the engine guard and minimize flapping, and clip in place for speedy installation. The two-way zippered outer edge accommodates guard-mounted highway pegs in almost any position. Reflective piping provides added visibility, and convenient zippered pockets provide storage for maps or other small items. Soft Lowers are available to fit many Sportster®, Dyna®, Touring and Softail® models equipped with an engine guard, but may not fit with forward controls and some other accessories. See an authorized Harley-Davidson dealer for fitment details.

300,000 Have Attended H-D's Riders' Edge Program

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Rider’s Edge – the Harley-Davidson Academy of Motorcycling is celebrating the milestone of training 300,000 motorcycle riders in the New Rider’s Course since its inception in 2000.

The Harley-Davidson Rider’s Edge program lets beginners to learn to ride or helps experienced riders enhance their skills. Conducted at select Harley-Davidson dealerships around the country, the Rider’s Edge New Rider Course trains new riders in the classroom and with instruction on the motorcycles, while the Skilled Rider Course provides additional riding instruction and practice on specific skills.

Rider’s Edge is currently available in 43 states and uses a proven curriculum of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Basic Rider Course. Upon completion, students receive an MSF Completion Card, which may help with getting a motorcycle license in most states, as well as possible insurance discounts.

To enroll in Rider’s Edge, students need appropriate riding gear and the ability to ride a bicycle. More information is available at or at local dealerships.  The Rider’s Edge New Rider Course attracts significant numbers of new rider groups as 91 percent are new to the sport, 36 percent are students under the age of 35, and 35 percent are women.


Free Beer On Samson's Tab!

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Here is a flyer for a party we are having at the Easyrider Saloon in Sturgis this next month. It is a pre ground breaking party and the groundbreaking event is the next morning at 9:30 AM at the construction site at 1151 Industry Way, Sturgis SD. There will be a lot of media present including television coverage. It’s a big deal in the Black Hills and we are building a  45,000 sq ft building. —Kenny Price


Harley-Davidson to Report Third Quarter Earnings October 23

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Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HOG) today announced that it is scheduled to release its third quarter 2012 financial results before market hours on Tuesday, October 23, 2012.  The public is invited to attend a webcast conference call and downloadable slide presentation with Keith Wandell, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, and John Olin, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Harley-Davidson, Inc. from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM (Central Time).

It is suggested that webcast participants log on and register at least ten minutes prior to the start time at  A replay of the audio webcast will be available approximately two hours after the call concludes.

Company Background
Harley-Davidson, Inc. is the parent company of Harley-Davidson Motor Company and Harley-Davidson Financial Services.

Media Contact:        Bob Klein  (414) 343-8664

Financial Contact:        Amy Giuffre  (414) 343-8002