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A Citizen’s Guide to Recording the Police

By | General Posts

First Amendment Protections for Journalists and Bystanders
By the team at First Amendment Watch

Sixty-one percent of the U.S. population lives in states where federal appeals courts have recognized a First Amendment right to record police officers performing their official duties in public. The U.S. Supreme Court has not ruled on the issue. As a result, legal protections are fully secure only in those jurisdictions where federal circuits have issued a ruling.

However, given the resounding support so far for this First Amendment protection, it seems highly likely that the remaining federal appeal courts would reach the same conclusion if the issue appears on their docket.

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Comoto Family of Brands Raise $100,000 from month-long The Ride is Calling Charity Campaign

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from https://finance.yahoo.com

Comoto Family of Brands Raise $100,000 from month-long The Ride is Calling Charity Campaign to collectively benefit National Motorcycle Safety Fund, The Kurt Caselli Foundation and Motorcycle Relief Project

The motorcycle community overwhelmingly showed their support by participating in the 3-day charity ride, making individual gifts, and shopping in-store to benefit the cause–

Comoto Holdings, parent company of leading moto enthusiast brands RevZilla, Cycle Gear, and J&P Cycles, announced they raised $100,000 from the month-long The Ride is Calling Charity campaign to support National Motorcycle Safety Fund, The Kurt Caselli Foundation and Motorcycle Relief Project.

“The Comoto family of brands has been humbled by the outpouring of support for our efforts to raise funds for our non-profit partners,” said Ken Murphy, CEO of Comoto Holdings. “A record-setting weekend of over 3,000 motorcyclists participating to support these causes is proof-positive that the motorcycling community is thriving.”

The campaign raised in total $100,000, meeting its goal. The centerpiece of the month was The Ride is Calling Charity Ride during the weekend of June 19-21, which attracted 3,030 participants. In partnership with the trip planner app Rever, riders tracked their ride with a combined total of 233,607 miles ridden over three days. Comoto donated $1 for every 10 miles ridden, which amounted to $23,360.

“We are really pleased that the motorcycling community came together to ride what equates to 10 times around the world in a single weekend,” said Justin Bradshaw, Co-founder of Rever. “To have Rever’s technology lend a hand in making these generous donations possible is extremely rewarding for us.”

In addition to The Ride is Calling Charity Ride, on Saturday, June 20, 5% of all in-store and curbside pick-up sales across 148 Cycle Gear, J&P Cycles and RevZilla locations nationwide were donated to the fund.

Individuals were able to make donations through the charity ride pages on each of the brand websites. Over 32,000 users landed on the donation pages across all three websites throughout the month of June. On social media, participants used #irodetoday and #therideiscalling to share the stories of their rides across the country.

With a diverse group of riders across Comoto’s retail brands, the campaign partnered with organizations that have three distinct missions. National Motorcycle Safety Fund, the non-profit arm of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, supports research, rider education and motorcyclist safety. The Kurt Caselli Foundation’s focus is on the safety of riders and racers in off-road motorcycling. Motorcycle Relief Project works with veterans and first responders suffering from PTSD by taking them on structured and professionally-led dual-sport motorcycle adventures.

“We are honored to be able to partner with Comoto to help veterans and first responders who are struggling with PTSD and related issues,” says Tom Larson, president and founder of Motorcycle Relief Project. “RevZilla has been helping out with our program for several years. Then Cycle Gear came on board and now we’re thrilled to be working with J&P Cycles as well. The funding from the Call to Ride event comes at a really important time for us, as our donations have definitely slowed down due to the COVID situation. A huge thank you to Comoto and all the riders who participated in the event and helped raise money. We couldn’t be more grateful for the support!”

About Comoto Holdings

Comoto Holdings is America’s largest and fastest growing omni-channel platform in the powersports aftermarket-products industry; dedicated to advancing the experience of moto enthusiasts across the globe. Comoto’s brands, RevZilla, Cycle Gear, and J&P Cycles, deliver premium products, dedicated expertise, engaging media, and passionate customer support of the rider community, through best-in-class ecommerce and retail experiences.

The Pros And Cons Of Motorcycle Commuting

By | General Posts

by Enrico Punsalang from https://www.rideapart.com

The pros definitely outweigh the cons, and the cons can be seen as part of the adventure!

To many motorcycle enthusiasts, motorcycles are merely toys. These toys come in many shapes and sizes—from sportbikes for spirited trackdays, to adventure bikes for weekend getaways with friends. However I’m sure it has crossed your mind, as a motorcycle enthusiast, to consider commuting to and from work, or to anywhere for that matter, on your beloved steed.

Undoubtedly, there are quite a number of cons—reasons for you to save riding your motorcycle for weekend leisurely rides. However, in as much as there are cons, there are twice as many pros—reasons why it is a good idea to commute with your motorcycle. So, I’m going to try to convince you that commuting on your motorcycle has quite a lot of benefits.

First, for a little context. I live in the Philippines, a country with one of the worst traffic conditions in the world. I’ve been commuting to and from work on my motorcycle for a couple of years now. I’ve practically seen it all as far as city commuting is concerned. From 40-degree summer heat, to torrential downpours in the middle of the monsoon season that had me chilled to the bone, I’ve managed to survive and enjoy commuting on my bike regardless of the situation. I’m lucky enough to have the option of driving myself to work in the safety of a four wheeled enclosure, also known as a car, when riding my bike is simply out of the question. However, the joy that motorcycling brings me seems to cut across the drudgery of day-to-day life (that’s one pro right there).

The Cons

I’m one to take my vegetables first, so let’s discuss the cons. Quite honestly, I don’t think the cons need that much enumeration. Of course, you have the exposure to literally all the elements. From sun, rain, snow (if it snows where you live), and not to mention the high levels of pollution in densely populated cities, you get a front row pass to experience all of these up close and personal. There’s also the increased chance of getting into an accident as opposed to driving a car. Us being on two wheels means that we’re more likely not to be seen, and the fact that we don’t have the protection of doors, bumpers, and airbags doesn’t help either.

Lastly, commuting on your motorcycle means you’ll be needing to change into your work or office clothes when you get to work. This can be a slight inconvenience, since you may even need to go as far as taking a shower before proceeding to your desk.

The Pros

You can practically go on and on about all the cons of commuting and actually riding a motorcycle in general. However given the fact that we are into motorcycles means that our wants and needs transcend those of mere utility. Don’t get me wrong, motorcycles offer a hell of a lot of utilities under the right circumstances. To give you a rundown of some of the pros which definitely outweigh the cons, for starters, commuting on a motorcycle means that you get to save money on gas with the added bonus of lower emissions (depending on what motorcycle you ride).

Of course it goes without saying that you would look utterly stylish rev bombing your way into your office parking complex, with envious coworkers giving you nods of approval. Kidding aside, riding your motorcycle will also save you a lot of time, especially if lane splitting is legal where you live. Now in most Asian countries, lane splitting is practiced by all motorcycle riders. However the legality of lane splitting is a lot murkier in America and in parts of Europe, so the time saving aspect comes with an asterisk.

Another pretty cool pro, especially for you folks who are trying to stay in shape, is that riding your motorcycle can be quite a workout. In fact, studies have shown that riding a motorcycle burns significantly more calories per hour, as compared to driving a car. Of course this number varies from person to person, as well as the conditions of the environment you’re riding in. I personally burn an average of 500 calories on a one-way ride to home from work, or vice versa.

Lastly, another pro that motorcycling gives you is something that can be difficult to measure simply because it’s a very personal thing. I’m sure we can all agree that our motorcycles are our pride and joy. We love every moment we spend with our bikes. So it’s definitely extremely beneficial for your mental health to do something you love everyday, right? Personally, riding my motorcycle to work everyday keeps me sane. It’s one of the few things I look forward to starting and ending each day.

So there you have it. I hope I was able to convince you to even consider taking your motorcycle to work tomorrow, or the next day, and the day after that. Motorcycling is truly an awesome thing, and it’s something I wouldn’t give up for the world.

Missouri motorcycle helmet law repeal has governor’s support, but it’s a small part of a larger bill

By | General Posts

by Ashley Byrd from https://www.missourinet.com

One of the proposed laws tucked into a massive state transportation bill would allow motorcyclists to drive without helmets, but they must be at least 26 years old and have medical insurance and proof of financial responsibility.

Representative Jared Taylor of Republic in southwest Missouri says the governor promised he’d sign it, but Parson’s spokeswoman says while he has “indicated he is supportive of this issue, but like always, there will be a thorough bill review to see what else is in the bill.’

Democrat from St. Louis, Rep. Gina Mitten opposed this part of the bill on the House floor.

None of my constituents probably care a bit about the myriad of other things in this bill, except for the helmet law,” she told colleagues. “I don’t know about the other folks in this room, but I got a ton of emails over the past few days saying, ‘Do not do this.’”

Mitten says there is a financial cost to citizens for this proposed law.

“You get a traffic ticket, you’re going to pay money to the Brain Injury Fund. That’s basically money for motorcyclists who get brain injuries because they are not wearing helmets or they do stupid things.”

Supporters of helmet repeal want the freedom to ride without a helmet.

Ladies of Harley will still celebrate even though Female Ride Day moved to August

By | General Posts

from https://medicinehatnews.com

International Female Ride Day was scheduled for this Saturday, and while COVID-19 has pushed the date all the way back to Aug. 22, the local Ladies of Harley motorcycle group will still be celebrating this weekend with a safely-distanced ladies’ ride.

The trip is scheduled to begin at Badlands Harley Davidson at noon and will take roughly two hours with a socially-distanced pit stop planned for Echo Dale Park.

Anyone attending is encouraged to park at least six feet away from other bikes.

Motorcycle parade at veterans home shows heroes that even though they are isolated, they are not alone

By | General Posts

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

BAY MINETTE, Ala. (WKRG) — Veterans at the William F. Green State Veterans Home may be isolated, but they are not alone. 150 motorcycle riders wanted to send that message loudly this Saturday. They lined up and paraded around the home on their bikes, honking their horns and revving their engines.

Signs leading up to the home read “Heroes work and live here.” These bikers wanted to make sure that heroism is recognized. Just the day before the riders honored the heroes it was announced a 3rd employee at the facility tested positive for COVID-19. The state announced it would be ramping up testing at all state-run veterans homes as well. So far none of the residents of the home have tested positive. But there have been cases at other state homes.

The veterans have been isolated since the COVID-19 outbreak. Long-term care facilities are particularly high risk. Nursing homes across the country have become hot zones for the virus. The veterans are not able to see their friends, families or others who regularly come to visit them. The Patriot Guard Riders, Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association and American Legion Riders are among several of the groups that normally visit the heroes to raise their spirits. Unable to do that, they got together to plan the parade.

Employees in scrubs and masks came outside to wave at the bikers. Another stood in salute. The bikers circled the facility, some of the veterans able to come to their windows and see the excitement. And those who couldn’t certainly heard it.

Seattle’s motorcycle clubs ride free (but socially distanced)

By | General Posts

Nick “Double Tap” Ziehe of Cretin Motorcycle Club stands for a portrait at the crew’s clubhouse in Seattle’s Interbay neighborhood, April 20, 2020.

by Agueda Pacheco Flores from https://crosscut.com

Coronavirus has scooter, moped and motorcycle enthusiasts rolling with caution.

Long before he was president of the Cretins Motorcycle Club, Nick Ziehe was just a kid growing up in Renton, fascinated by his dad doing a complete overhaul of a Honda CB350.

The bike was a vintage racer, but one his father heavily modified. Ziehe recalls his dad plopping him on the seat of this “odd” looking bike for short rides on backroads around Lake Washington. In high school, when his friends were getting their first cars, Ziehe got his first bike, which he rebuilt with his dad.

Today, Ziehe, 48, works at Boeing as a manufacturing engineer, and for the past five years has led the Ballard-based Cretins Motorcycle Club (aka Cretins MC Seattle), which he joined 10 years ago. Among members, Ziehe is known as “Double Tap.” The club’s preferred bikes are vintage cafe racers, with an aesthetic hearkening to 1960s London.

The glue that holds the Cretins together is the love of riding. Spring usually marks the beginning of the riding season, when members take group rides and share the feeling of the road rolling out under their feet. But this spring is different.

The global coronavirus pandemic put the group’s planned March 28 spring opener ride on hold. The annual Taco Dash (a fundraiser involving minibikes, silly games and homemade tacos) scheduled for May 2, is up in the air. And the customary, rain or shine, Thursday night dive bar meet-ups (Cretin Nights) have gone virtual, from vroom-vroom to Zoom.

Washington is home to an abundance of motorcycle, moped and scooter clubs. In addition to the Cretins there are dozens of groups, including Jewish riding club The Tribe, the Moped Army’s Seattle branch, Los Gatos Gordos and women-only riding groups. According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commision, as of last year there were 237,976 registered motorcycles (this includes mopeds and scooters) in Washington, accounting for 3% of all vehicles registered in the state. Additionally, there are 429,238 people licensed to drive motorcycles.

For many, the longer, warmer days of spring signal a return to the road. Bikers start rolling motorcycles out of garages, and groups convene for scenic rides along highways lined with pines and miles of ocean coast. But Gov. Jay Inslee did not include motorcycle rides on the list of acceptable public activities during the coronavirus stay-at-home order.

“It’s not legally prohibited, but it’s a terrible idea at the moment,” Mike Faulk, Inslee’s press secretary, says by email. “People should limit travel to limit exposure and transmission. This is a legitimate crisis. Adventure can wait.”

Despite the rebellious reputation of motorcycle riders, the Cretins aren’t rule breakers.

“The motorcycle thing is obviously kind of a sticking point for us because we can’t go and ride together,” Ziehe says. “At the same time it’s the human aspect…. I want to make sure that my buddy is good and everything is copacetic. But I can do that online.”

While group rides are off the table, for now, Ziehe and other members still go out for solo rides along desolate stretches of roads to avoid people and practice social distancing as much as they can. A bonus: With traffic significantly down, the roads are more wide open than ever.

“It’s easy for me to hit a backroad and just get lost,” says Ziehe, who now lives in Maple Valley. “Riding a motorcycle is so therapeutic — it’s not like driving a car.”

For bikers, going on rides offers a kind of solitude that people who are socially distancing might not be able to achieve while visiting a park and working hard to stay 6 feet away from the dozens of other people trying to grab their own bit of sunshine.

“You got the wind blowing across you, and you can relax and take everything in,” Ziehe says. “It’s a good way to de-stress from everything that’s going on around you.”

But some bikers are rebels with a cause.

Last week, Doug Davis, president of local Jewish motorcycle club, The Tribe, rode with a small caravan of eight people from Bellevue to Anacortes.

“The truth of the matter is because everybody is homebound and we have a lot of retired and semiretired people, we are riding much more,” says Davis, 66. “If you ask most of us what the number one thing they want to be doing, it’s usually going to be motorcycle riding. You’re out on the road — just you and nature.”

Not all members of The Tribe have chosen to go on rides. But a subgroup of the Bellevue-based posse of mostly 60-somethings have gone out at least twice a week for the past five weeks. And while the group of riders, who primarily own Harley Davidsons, are in an age group that’s considered more vulnerable to coronavirus, Davis says they’re doing everything they can to stay safe.

By Washington state law, motorcyclists are required to wear helmets, which can range from half helmets to full head coverage. Some helmets have face shields; riders in The Tribe who don’t have a face shield wear cloth face masks. (As is customary in biker culture, they also wear leather gloves.) They stay 6 feet apart while on their feet and when out on the road at upwards of 60 miles per hour, they keep two bike lengths between them.

And The Tribe isn’t the only local group that’s taking their chances on the newly empty roads.

Alex Sokolowski owns Magic Touch Mopeds, a full service garage in Seattle specifically for mopeds. He says his business currently has a steady influx of customers, but it’s not nearly as busy as it usually is around this time of year. And when customers do call in for an appointment, some get cold feet when the time comes to drop off their bike.

“We’ve definitely taken a hit because mopeds are generally a social thing,” Sokolowski explains. “Even if you don’t have any problems, the first thing you would want to do when you get your bike running is go visit the moped shop to show it off.”

Sokolowski is also the president of the Moped Army’s Seattle branch, which has 25 active members. As of now, official club business is indefinitely postponed. But some in the moped community, including Sokolowski, meet up for “social distance rides” on Sundays and “moped Mondays.”

“We’ll ride out and then disband at the end of the ride,” Sokolowski says. “Which is different from the way we usually do moped Monday.”

Because the moped’s engines are smaller than those in motorcycles, riders go for shorter distances. And especially now, they are avoiding winding roads.

“It’s obviously not the time you would want to have any sort of incident and visit the ER,” Sokolowski says. Additionally, he says, no one in the club who’s gone out for a ride has exhibited symptoms of the virus. (The CDC cautions that even asymptomatic people can spread the coronavirus.)

“Everybody that I know has been taking the quarantine pretty seriously, and has put a lot of thought into making the decision to go out and socially distance with our moped rides,” he says.

One event still in question is the annual “Mods and Rockers” ride, a June tradition that nods to the historic rivalry between Mods (scooter riders) and Rockers (motorcyclists). Legend has it the two subcultures battled it out on the beaches of Brighton, U.K., in 1964, in a fight that lasted two days. But these days the event is cause for friendly celebration of the two-wheeled lifestyle.

“The Cretins are great. I’ve partied with them many times,” Sokolowski says of the “rocker” club. “They’ve opened their clubhouse to us before and we’ve hosted parties there in the past.”

More than 80 riders on scooters, motorcycles and mopeds usually gather for Mods and Rockers — the mods starting their engines on one side of town, the rockers on the other. After meeting in the middle, the squads join forces and ride to a bar and afterparty.

Ziehe hopes the stay-at-home order isn’t extended into June, so that the Mods and Rockers can take to the road for the commemorative ride.

“We’re just holding out to make that decision to pull the plug on all of our events,” he says. “We’re not the only ones waiting and getting antsy.”

Regardless of the rules, Ziehe expects there will probably still be some riders who say, “I’m going to put on my leathers,” and do a solo ride on June 1 to honor the clash of cultures. But it isn’t the same.

“It’s such a group dynamic; that’s what makes it — that belonging,” Ziehe adds. “You’re never going to get the feeling [elsewhere] like when you’re actually at an event or riding with your fellow riders. You can’t replace it.”

Black and Red 1947 Harley-Davidson WL Police Bike Is What Bad Guys Feared

By | General Posts

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

Police departments were never slow in adopting emerging technologies. Given the nature of their work, these organizations had to adapt and use hardware that, if not more advanced than the one used by bad guys, and least on par with it. And motorcycles are no exception.

In the U.S. one of the preferred suppliers of motorcycles for the police force is Harley-Davidson. The company has been providing bikes for the force since the first years of the 20th century, when the Detroit PD was the first to commission and use the Harleys of that time. As you might imagine, at the time there were no police packages for bikes and not even cars for that matter, so these early police bikes were nothing more than civilian models with PD logos here and there.

That would change starting with the 1920s, when the fight against the villains of the era intensifies. Things like sirens and lights start being fitted on Harleys as they chase down bad guys, but it was not until the end of World War II that police Harleys would become norm.

That is all owed to the Army-specced WLA model, a no-nonsense machine based on the civilian version that was known at the time as the WL. The way in which the WLA handled itself during the war made police departments look to the WL with new interest.

The motorcycle you see in the gallery above is one of post-war police WLs, and is currently on the list of vehicles on sale during the Mecum Eddie Vannoy Collection sale in June. We’re not being told what police department it served back in its glory days, but we do know it comes with the customary siren and lights.

The bike as seen above is of course a restoration, one draped in black and red hues that are not the customary police colors but suit it beautifully, and powered by a restored 45ci engine linked to a 3-speed manual transmission.

Very Famous Harley-Davidson Riders You Probably Didn’t Know About

By | General Posts

by Elena Gorgan from https://www.autoevolution.com/

Because they’re rich and famous, artists have access to some of the newest and most awesome rides, whether they’re cars, motorcycles, bikes or anything in between. Some they buy, some they get to try out and keep, as long as they can guarantee exposure to the brand.

Artists and celebrities are also influencers, in that they can sway public opinion towards a certain product. Sometimes, their choices are very personal and don’t have a financial goal in sight – and this seems to be the case with the three celebrities we’re going to discuss today. Call them closeted Harley riders and you wouldn’t be completely off the mark.

Given the boom in paparazzi media over the past decade and the way artists (be they actors, musicians or Internet celebrities) have been using it to further their careers, the realization that there are stars who fly under the radar comes across as strange. This allows them to harbor and feed their true passions and, for these three, those passions include riding Harley-Davidson.

Jim Carrey

Think of male celebrities riding Harleys (or any other motorcycle, for that matter) and images of Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Justin Timberlake, Keanu Reeves, David Beckham and Jason Momoa pop into your mind. They are, if you think about it, all men’s men: buff, tough, rough and, because of it, a perfect fit on a Hog.

As it turns out, so is Jim Carrey. In the early 2000s, the comedian treated himself to a custom Harley-Davidson Road King Classic, surprising even his loyal fans with his choice. After all, Carrey is known for a lot of stuff, but being the “Harley type” isn’t exactly one of them. He’s more the goofy, silly, occasionally artsy type.

Always the funny guy, though, Carrey brought his trademark humor to the Hog, according to an urban legend. Apparently, thinking it would be hilarious if he could somehow “prank” cops, he got the vanity license plate “NO TAG” for his Harley, but the idea backfired.

“No tag” is what traffic police officers write in the license plate number slot of a vehicle with no license plate during a traffic stop. Because that was Carrey’s actual plate, countless traffic tickets ended up being routed back to him.

There’s no actual evidence Carrey confirmed the report, but such an occurrence can happen. As one hacker proved at DefCon 2019, you get the same result if you try to “trick” the DMV by getting the “NULL” license plate. In short, it’s not a good idea.

Cher

Cher has always been a tough babe with an image to match, but unlike younger stars with a rock ‘n’ roll or edgier image, in her case, it’s actually grounded in reality. Cher was a longtime Harley-Davidson rider and would often use her passion and her fame to highlight charitable causes close to heart.

Younger audiences today probably don’t know about it because, well, they’re young and Cher is not anymore – even though you wouldn’t be able to say by looking at her.

Back in the ‘90s and early 2000s, the singer owned a 1994 Fat Boy, which she would often ride at Harley gatherings, all types of parades or charity events. For instance, in 1994, she made an appearance at the Happy Harley Days at Streets in Beverly Hills, California. Then, in 2003, she rode it again to New York’s City Hall on Ride To Work Day, together with other stars like Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Peter Fonda and Hulk Hogan.

By some accounts, Cher sold her bike in 2003, but the love for the spirit of Harley never died. In 2013, for example, she showed up for a live performance on The Today Show on the back of a NYPD bike – and with a full NYPD bike escort.

Elizabeth Taylor

Liz is the most surprising Harley rider on this short list. The screen icon, famous for her mermerizing eyes, adventurous love life and, last but not least, a completely uncensored love of diamonds, is the least likely match for the “biker type.” Yet, she owned a Harley, loved it and rode it for quite some time.

In September 1987, Taylor was presented with a very unique gift by her good friend and occasional lover, magazine publisher and bike collector Malcolm Forbes: a custom 1988 Harley-Davidson 883 “Hugger” she named Purple Passion. Purple, as you may have heard, was Liz’s favorite color.

Forbes had his own motorcycle club, the Capitalist Tools, and Taylor would often go on rides with them. When she got the Harley, she’d been taking riding lessons for a few weeks, so her first ride was on the back, with Forbes in the front. After that first experience, she described her new bike as “super.”

As a welcome into the small community, Forbes also gave Taylor a biker ring and she got fake tattoos on her arms. She presented him with a silver ring – a helmeted skull with ruby eyes – as a thank-you. Photographic evidence shows Taylor continued to ride for years after that, so unlike her lovers, the Harley didn’t bore her right away.

Motorcycle safety foundation helps prepare riders for Arizona’s roads

By | General Posts

Kimberly Chapman was known as the “ultimate motorcycle enthusiast,” earning a national reputation for being a motorcycle community advocate.

The 55-year-old was killed in 2011 when she collided with a vehicle that pulled in front of her at a Phoenix intersection.

Months later, some of Chapman’s friends spearheaded the creation of the Arizona Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Foundation, a nonprofit that advocates for safer practices for motorcyclists and eliminating distracted driving in the state.

“She was heavily involved in the motorcycle community,” said Mick Degn, the foundation’s executive director.

“I’ve been a motorcycle rider and been involved in motorcycle organizations and we just felt that there wasn’t anything that was really being done to help be preventive in regard to motorcycle crashes. So myself and seven other folks formed AMSAF.”

“As we spent time looking at what we wanted to accomplish, our biggest thing was to help reduce crashes and fatalities and promote motorcycle safety and awareness,” Degn added.

In Arizona, 150 motorcyclists were killed in crashes in 2018, a decrease from the 161 killed in 2017.

In Tucson, fatalities doubled from 7 to 15 from 2018 to 2019.

The foundation, which primarily focuses on educating riders of all levels, used a pilot scholarship program to reduce the cost of motorcycle training, an expense reaching upwards of $300, according to Degn.

By 2014, the foundation’s mission expanded to allocating monthly scholarships.

So far, more than 3,500 Arizona riders have been trained.

The foundation’s statewide effort has received support from the Arizona Governors Office of Highway Safety, the Arizona Department of Transportation, the Arizona Trauma Association and various organizations in the medical and law enforcement fields.

“We’ve seen an increase in motorcycle registrations — there’s 400,000 plus people registered, but at the same time we also see that even though they’re registered motorcyclists at the end of the day, they’re not trained,” said Alberto Gutier, director of the highway safety office.

“One of the issues that we have with motorcycles is the lack of what I call mutual respect. Motorcyclists need to respect the vehicles and follow the rules of the road and cars also need to have some respect for the motorcycle community.”

In November, the governor’s office provided a $50,000 grant for the foundation’s efforts.

It’s being used to fuel the foundation’s newest effort of operating the state’s first helmet scholarship program for motorcyclists.

“Arizona is a choice state on wearing a helmet, but if you’re going to wear a helmet we want people to wear a good helmet, a department of transportation helmet that’s going to protect them,” Degn said.

The foundation has helped more than 100 riders get discounted helmets, working with five vendors in the state, including RideNow Powersports and Cycle Gear in Tucson.

After applying for the scholarship and giving a $50 tax-deductible donation, the foundation provides $125 off a helmet. The sellers tack on an additional 25% discount.

“You wouldn’t believe the number of phone calls I get from parents who want to get their kid a motorcycle, but they want them to take a motorcycle course first and they want to get them a good helmet,” Degn said.

“We help them in both ways … we’ve been able to save them money in both areas and now they can help their child.”

The scholarship saves riders hundreds of dollars for a full-coverage helmet, which could cost nearly $600.

While “safety is hard to sell,” according to Degn, the foundation’s future includes finding partners with large Arizona employers and organizations as they continue to promote their mission.

“That’s why we have to continually talk about distracted driving, sharing the road, meaning looking out for each other, looking out for the two-wheeled vehicle and the four-wheeled vehicle down the road,” he said.

Major traffic switch headed to I-10 near Ruthrauff: Construction crews are shifting traffic on Interstate 10 near Ruthrauff by the end of the week.

On Friday, all westbound I-10 lanes will shift to the westbound frontage road and all eastbound lanes will shift to the westbound I-10 lanes by Saturday.

Crews will work from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m., reducing I-10 to one lane in each direction.

The Sunset Road exit ramp from westbound I-10 will move to the southeast, ADOT says. This exit will provide direct access to westbound I-10 frontage road businesses.