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Brief history of Daytona Beach’s Bike Week

By General Posts

A history of beer, bikes, cole slaw and ‘rowdyism’

by C. A. Bridges from www.news-journalonline.com

Bike Week, now marking its 81st year, may not be your grandfather’s — or even your great-grandfather’s — bike rally. A gathering for motorcycle race fans, a drunken party, a biker brawl or a family vacation destination, Bike Week has been a lot of things over the years.

It’s our Mardi Gras, our Fantasy Fest, our Carnival. It’s a portable, 10-day street party of motorcycles and biker lifestyle.

CLICK HERE to read this article on Bikernet

Golden Age Kit from reputed Florida based NMoto custom Co

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Nmoto Nostalgia based on present day BMW R Nine T inspired by BMW R7 pre-war prototype

from https://www.autoevolution.com by Cristina Mircea

Golden Age Streamliner Concept Turns Your BMW C 400 X Scooter Into an Art Deco Masterpiece

Massively spread all across the globe, the pre-war Art Deco style is all about glamour and luxury.

It left its mark on everything from buildings to jewelry, fashion, and of course the automotive industry. Aiming to recapture those exuberant times when style and craftsmanship were the norm, Nmoto welcomes motorists back into the Golden Age, with one of the coolest motorcycle concepts we’ve seen.

Born in France before World War I, the Art Deco international style impressed through its richness and exuberance, using expensive and rare materials. But it was also about modernism, trying to express the technological progress of those times.

Nmoto is a custom motorcycle manufacturer based in Florida and its creations make constant appearances at prestigious museums, festivals, and events such as the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, and the likes. There are currently eight models in its lineup, and the Golden Age is one of them.

Announced last year, the Golden Age motorcycle concept is a true masterpiece characterized by a vintage look and modern features. It is the newest design released by Nmoto, aiming to take you back to a time when transportation was about speed but also about skill and style.

Described as a modern incarnation of the 1936 Henderson Courtney Prototype, the bike is based on BMW’s C 400 X scooter. For those who are not familiar with the aforementioned prototype, it was a custom motorcycle built in 1936, at the peak of the Art Deco movement, by O. Ray Courtney. The guy specialized in building custom bikes and this particular one was inspired by the 1930 KJ Henderson and was his most popular build. Also as a side note, Henderson was a motorcycle manufacturer who was renowned for making the fastest and biggest bikes between 1912 and 1931.

Modern incarnation of 1936 Henderson Courtney Prototype, the bike is based on BMW’s C 400 X scooter

Back to our Golden Age, Nmoto sells this model as a kit for the BMW C 400 X scooter, which is powered by a 350cc engine that produces 35 hp. It can reach a top speed of almost 140 kph (87 mph). While its design is as retro and Art Deco as it gets, this streamliner is conceived to offer all the modern features and convenience of the C 400 X.

The Golden Age has a low center of gravity, it is powerful and makes for a great city cruiser, which is no wonder, given that it is based on the C 400 X. The design and reduced weight of BMW’s mid-size scooter make it a practical urban commuter that can tackle dense traffic and tight alleys.

Nmoto’s Golden Age custom bike kit comes in four finishes, with black, red, white, and teal being your available options. You can’t go wrong with either of them, as they all look absolutely gorgeous. The motorcycle is quite hefty at 425 lb (193 kg) and can hold two helmets, for both you and a passenger.

The bike keeps all the modern features of the C 400 X, including the connectivity dashboard with a 6.5” display, keyless ignition, Bluetooth connectivity, ABS (anti-lock braking system) and ASC (automatic stability control), Brembo disc brakes, the heated seat, and on-board computer, to name the most important of them.

Nmoto’s Golden Age kit includes a carbon fiber body made of nine pieces, front and rear subframes that are powder-coated, new headlight housing and adapter, new turn signal housings, as well as the headlight, turn signals, and rearview mirrors. You also get Golden Age badges for the rear part of the body, a kidney grille, side moldings, and grilles for the rear, an exhaust system relocation kit, premium mountings (original BMW Torx screws), and of course, instructions on how to assemble everything.

Starting at $12,490, the Golden Age kit is now available to order.

Visit their Website at: https://nmoto.com/

Toy Runs for Kids : Merry Christmas

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Rogue rides to the Toy Run in Brevard County, Florida

It is the time of year that Bikers from around the country hold Toy Runs to help out those in their community who need toys for their kids.

Things have been tough for a lot of people, but you can always count on the Bikers to help where they can.

CLICK HERE To Read this Merry Report from Florida Toy Run

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World’s Fastest Electric Motorcycle Upgraded, to Break Its Own Records

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World’s Fastest Electric Motorcycle Has Been Upgraded, Wants to Break Its Own Records
from https://www.autoevolution.com by Cristina Mircea

The fastest electric motorcycle in the world aims to become even faster. Voxan recently unveiled its new and improved Wattman.

Venturi-owned electric motorcycle brand Voxan designed the Wattman with one goal in mind: to set new world speed records. The bike was initially supposed to prove its abilities on the biggest salt flat on Earth, in Bolivia. However, the global health crisis changed everyone’s plans, and the Wattman had to settle for breaking 11 world speed records on the runway at the Chateauroux airfield in France. Nevertheless, it achieved an incredible speed of 408 kph (253.5 mph), with world champion Max Biaggi at the helm.

But that was in the fall of 2020, and Voxan knows there’s always room for improvement. That is why the company announced a new version of the Wattman, which has just kicked off its first ultra-high-speed tests at Space Florida’s Launch and Landing Facility (Kennedy Space Center), one of the longest runways in the world, with a length of 15,000 ft (4.5 km).

Voxan brought some significant upgrades to the new Wattman in terms of weight, stability, and power. This new version weighs under 300 kg (661 lb), allowing it to compete in a new category. Voxan used a new battery design for its latest bike, both mechanical and electric, created in partnership with French manufacturer Saft.

Stability has been improved with the new Wattman, as the modified motorcycle now features an increased wheelbase of 1,957 mm (77 in) from 1,800 mm (70.8 in) with the previous version. The seat height has also been increased from 610 mm (24 in) to 685 mm (26.9 in). Voxan equipped the bike with custom-designed Michelin tires tailored to endure extremely high speeds.

In terms of performance, the new Wattman, which relies on the Mercedes EQ Formula E powertrain, can now deliver powers of 320 kW (429 HP), as opposed to 270 kW (362 HP), for the previous version. As for the torque, it has also increased at 1,360 Nm.

If everything goes according to schedule, the new Wattman will once again attempt to break its own records within the first six months of 2022.

PRESS RELEASE – 15 NOVEMBER 2021

Electric motorcycle brand Voxan, owned by high-performance electric vehicle specialist Venturi, presents the new Wattman. With world champion Max Biaggi at the controls, the brand is setting out to conquer yet more world speed records.

Closer to the stars
The Voxan Wattman was initially due to make its attempts on a Bolivian salt flat in July 2020, but the pandemic made travel impossible, and so it was on the runway at the Châteauroux airfield in France that the team broke 11 world speed records a year ago.

Asphalt proved to be an interesting surface, so the Wattman – modified accordingly – will continue its schedule on another strip. This time, the venue will be the Space Florida’s Launch and Landing Facility at the Kennedy Space Center (Florida, USA), where, from Monday 15 November, the first ultra-high-speed tests will get underway.

Weight – stability – power
The Wattman is now under 300 kilos in weight, allowing it to compete in this category. The weight difference is primarily down to a new Voxan-Saft battery design, which is both mechanical and electric. Saft, the French subsidiary of TotalEnergies, specialises particularly in high-performance, very high-power batteries. The pouch cells used make it possible to increase the batteries’ power by nearly 80 times, compared with around 10 times for standard products on the market. They are assembled in modules, enabling cooling to be managed with a recently patented process, resulting in an ultra-compact construction.

The bike continues to rely on the Mercedes EQ Formula E powertrain, which delivers power of 320 kW (compared with 270 kW for the previous version) and offers torque of 1,360 Nm.

Other notable differences compared with the previous Wattman include the motorcycle’s dimensions: to improve stability and air penetration, the wheelbase has been increased to 1,957 mm (from 1,800 mm previously) and the seat height is now 685 mm (up from 610 mm). In the event of significant crosswinds, the team will now have the flexibility to add a fairing that cuts wind resistance.

As for the tyres, longstanding partner Michelin has worked on designs specifically tailored to this challenge. The front 120/70-17 is a tyre from the MICHELIN Power GP range, which has been modified to tolerate extremely high speeds. For the rear 190/55-17, Michelin has relied on technology that has been proven in MotoGP to develop a tyre with improved grip. The challenge was to channel all of the extraordinary torque delivered by the Wattman’s electric engine, allowing the motorcycle to accelerate as fast as possible without skidding.

Once the new Wattman is ready, further world record attempts will be made – certainly within the first six months of 2022. As they did last year, Max Biaggi and Voxan will seek to beat the clock with two types of motorcycles in two separate categories: “partially streamlined” (traditional sports bike) and “naked” (roadster with no streamlined elements).

Fourth Annual St. Pete BikeFest

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OCC Road House and Bert’s Barracuda Harley-Davidson to Host
Fourth Annual St. Pete BikeFest – November 18-21

WHO: OCC Road House & Museum, massive new restaurant, entertainment venue and museum, and official Orange Country Choppers headquarters, and Bert’s Barracuda and Bert’s Black Widow Harley-Davidson, one of the top-performing Harley-Davidson dealerships in the nation

WHAT: OCC Road House and Bert’s Barracuda will host the fourth annual St. Pete BikeFest, a rumbling, rolling four-day celebration of motorcycles and live music. More than 14 national and regional acts will perform on two stages throughout the weekend, with nightly headline acts that include Saving Abel & Saliva (Thursday), chart-topping country act Lo Cash (Friday), and rockers Night Ranger (Saturday). Also performing throughout the weekend will be favorites Tobacco Rd Band and Autograph. There will be live music on two alternating stages all day Thursday through Sunday until 6 p.m. The afternoon concerts are complimentary, while the evening headliner concerts are ticketed.

Paul Teutul Sr. of Orange County Choppers fame will rev things up Saturday, Nov. 20, along with a bike show featuring more than 200 cycles presented by Full Throttle magazine. Vendors Row (Thursday-Sunday) will feature the latest bike gear, clothing and accessories. Food and drink specials will be offered throughout the event.

St. Pete BikeFest has partnered with RumFish Beach Resort, a TradeWinds resort, to offer festival goers a special three-night package for two with rates as low as $720 per package. Packages include various extras such as discounted accommodations, VIP concert tickets nightly, guaranteed motorcycle parking at OCC Road House during the nightly national acts, and beach bar crawl entries. To book the RumFish Beach Resort package, please CLICK HERE To Visit TradeWinds BikeFest packages.

WHEN: Nov. 18-21, 2021

WHERE: OCC Road House & Museum
10575 49th Street North
Clearwater, Florida 33762

COST: The St. Pete BikeFest is free and open to the public, but nightly headliner concerts are ticketed. Pricing options include the following
• General Admission: $10 one-day ticket or $50 three-day ticket; includes ticket to concert(s)
• VIP: $50 one-day ticket or $125 three-day ticket; includes ticket to concert(s) with roped off VIP area and closer view
• Super VIP: $100 one-day ticket or $250 three-day ticket; includes ticket to concert(s) with exclusive roped off front of stage view area for headlining acts

INFO: For additional information, go to St. Pete BikeFest website at www.stpetebeachbikefest.com
or call 727-231-1510.

Daytona 200 with Triumph & Ducati plus King of the Baggers

By General Posts

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

At the 80th Daytona 200 Race – King of the Baggers Goes Oval Racing Next Year, Daytona 200 to Allow Triumph and Ducati.

When one hears the word Daytona, the first thing that comes to mind is the insane racing that goes on there, especially the Daytona 500 event dedicated to cars. But the same name can easily be associated with an equally grueling endurance race for motorcycles.

They call it Daytona 200, and it has been around in some form or another ever since 1937. Next year in March, when the upcoming event is scheduled, people attending will be celebrating the 80th edition of the race. On their end, organizers will do so with new rules and bagger racing as a side dish for the first time ever.

Bagger racing on sanctioned, iconic tracks has not been around for all that long. Or maybe it has, but it only got traction after back in 2020 Harley-Davidsons and Indians went at each other’s throats in a single high-adrenaline race, called King of the Baggers, at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

Then, 2021 came with King of the Baggers as a three-race series (eventually won by Harley’s Kyle Wyman), and we also got the Bagger Racing League’s Drag Specialties Battle of the Baggers for the first time.

Next year in Daytona, most of the bikes that were raced this year, and hopefully, even more, will line up on the starting grid once more. It is there where the next season of King of the Baggers kicks off, marking the first time ever when such motorcycles have been raced “on the high banks of a Superspeedway with speeds expected to exceed 160 mph.”

So far, the organizers of the series, MotoAmerica, did not provide any info on how the race will shape up, so we have no idea how many tri-oval laps riders will have to do before being declared winners.

As said, this year’s three-race series winner is Kyle Wyman, who rode a Road Glide to victory, defeating last year’s single-race series winner, Indian Challenger rider Tyler O’Hara. It’s unclear at this point how the roster for the 2022 season will shape up, and the total number of races is kept under wraps as well.

The opening salvo of the King of the Baggers will, of course, not be part of the Daytona 200 main event, but there are things to discuss here as well, the most important of them all being the fact more motorcycles are now allowed in.

This is due to rule changes that “take into consideration several performance-related items that establish benchmarks for balancing a wide variety of middleweight performance machines.”

Based on the 2022 World Supersport Technical rules, the modifications should allow incredible two-wheelers like the Triumph 765, Ducati Panigale V2, and MV Agusta F3 to be fielded in the race, joining the existing Yamaha YZF-R6, Suzuki GSX-R600, and Kawasaki ZX-6R.

Daytona 200 will continue to be an open tire event, meaning each of the teams will be able to choose whatever tire manufacturer they like for the competition.

Back in March this year, the winner of the Daytona 200 was Brandon Paasch, who rode his Suzuki motorcycle to the win in 57 laps, completed in a little over two hours. The fastest lap of the race was actually the last one, and it went to Paasch in 1:49.752. That was enough to put him ahead runner-up Sean Dylan Kelly and his Kawasaki by just 0.30 seconds.

The 2021 Daytona 200 takes place on the weekend of March 10-12. The event is not part of the MotoAmerica Supersport Championship, meaning riders from around the world can take part.

At the time of writing, there is no info on the price for tickets or available packages.

PRESS RELEASE:

16 SEPTEMBER 2021
MotoAmerica, home of AMA Superbike and North America’s premier motorcycle road racing series, is thrilled to announce that it will partner with Daytona International Speedway to host one of the world’s most prestigious races – the DAYTONA 200 – during the weekend of March 10-12, 2022, in Daytona Beach, Florida.

The 2022 DAYTONA 200, set for the green flag on Saturday, March 12, will be the 80th running of the event that began on the Daytona Beach shoreline in 1937 before moving to the World Center of Racing in 1961.

The DAYTONA 200 will feature new rules based off the proposed 2022 World Supersport Technical rules, which take into consideration several performance related items that establish benchmarks for balancing a wide variety of middleweight performance machines. These new rules open the door to motorcycles such as the Triumph 765, Ducati Panigale V2, MV Agusta F3 and others to compete alongside the current Yamaha YZF-R6, Suzuki GSX-R600 and Kawasaki ZX-6R. The DAYTONA 200 will also continue to run as an “open tire” event, allowing multiple tire manufacturers to join the competition.

The DAYTONA 200 will not be included as part of the MotoAmerica Supersport Championship, leaving the opportunity open for the best riders from around the world to compete for the minimum $175,000 in purse and contingency that will be offered.

In addition to the DAYTONA 200, the MotoAmerica weekend at Daytona International Speedway will be the opening round of the 2022 MotoAmerica King Of The Baggers Championship, marking the first time Baggers will race on the high banks of a Superspeedway with speeds expected to exceed 160 mph, and also the first round of the Twins Cup Championship.

“The DAYTONA 200 is known worldwide to be one of the most exciting motorcycle races in the world,” said MotoAmerica President Wayne Rainey, who won the DAYTONA 200 in 1987. “We are proud to work with Daytona International Speedway, the AMA and FIM North America organizations to continue to enhance the prominence of the DAYTONA 200. With the new DAYTONA 200 rules in place, we are hopeful that this will open the door to more manufacturers and teams joining us in March. It’ll be a great way to start off the 2022 season. And, wow, Baggers on the high banks! What a spectacle that will be. Obviously, this is MotoAmerica’s first trip to Daytona, and it’s my first trip back to the Speedway since 2008. I’m looking forward to what is going to be a really cool weekend.”

“The tradition of the DAYTONA 200 is unprecedented, and we are thrilled to work with such a reputable group in MotoAmerica to continue the tradition,” said Daytona International Speedway President Frank Kelleher. “Racing two-wheel style has been a staple in Daytona for many years, first on the beach before moving to Bill France Sr.’s incredible creation of the 31-degree banking of Daytona International Speedway and Infield Road Course. There’s nothing like the excitement that the DAYTONA 200 provides, including close finishes that have become the norm.”

“The AMA is pleased that the DAYTONA 200 will now be run and managed by our AMA/FIM North America partner MotoAmerica for 2022,” said AMA President and CEO, and FIM North America President, Rob Dingman. “This has been one of our goals since 2015 when we established our partnership with MotoAmerica and facilitated the return of professional road racing sanctioning rights to the AMA.”

Earlier this year, Brandon Paasch, at only 19 years old, used an old, veteran move common to Daytona, to capture the 2021 DAYTONA 200 in breathtaking fashion. After running second for most of the last portion of the race, Paasch, utilizing the draft, reeled in leader Sean Dylan Kelly and calculated a perfect slingshot move at the entrance of the tri-oval as the duo came to the checkered flag, winning by just .031 of a second, and taking home the traditional Rolex Cosmograph Daytona watch.

Nine World Champions, including seven 500cc/MotoGP World Champions – six Americans (Kenny Roberts, Freddie Spencer, Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey, Kevin Schwantz and Nicky Hayden) and one Italian (Giacomo Agostini) – have won the Daytona 200.

The winningest riders in the Daytona 200 are former World and AMA Superbike Champion Scott Russell (1992, ’94, ’95, ’97 and ’98) and 1995 AMA Superbike Champion Miguel Duhamel (’91, ’96, ’99, 2003, 2005). The pair have each won five Daytona 200s.

More information on the 2022 DAYTONA 200 will be announced soon, including additional support classes, final rules, entry instructions, broadcast coverage and ticket opportunities.

The iconic Daytona International Speedway will be the site of a host of motorsports events in 2022, beginning with the Rolex 24 in January, the DAYTONA 500 and Speedweeks Presented by AdventHealth in February, along with the 81st Annual Bike Week At DAYTONA in March, featuring the Monster Energy AMA Supercross and DAYTONA 200.

Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for the latest speedway news. For information on all events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.

Florida Drivers claim lack of state oversight led to their fraudulent motorcycle endorsements

By General Posts

by Stephanie Coueignoux from https://www.mynews13.com

ORLANDO, Fla. — About 200 people’s lives are now literally stalled after the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles suspended their driver’s licenses.

Each of these individuals took a motorcycle endorsement training course two years ago so they could ride, but there’s now an issue.

What You Need To Know

  • About 200 Floridians had their driver’s licenses suspended over an illegitimate motorcycle endorsement
  • State officials say the company in question was not a legitimate business
  • Some of the drivers affected say the suspensions are not fair, because the state initially accepted the endorsements

The state sent these people letters suspending their driver’s licenses, after it discovered the course wasn’t legitimate. But many of these drivers are upset, pointing out it was the state that accepted the certifications in the first place.

Francisco Perez Velez is one of the drivers who received one of the letters. As the owners of an electric service company, Velez responds to power outages around the clock. His nephew, Evelio Perez, works with him.

“We need to be there as soon as possible,” explains Perez.

It’s part of the job made more difficult when the state suspended their licenses.

“It’s going to be sad — you’re driving without a license and stopped by a police and you’re heading to your job and heading to the jail? It’s not fair,” said Perez.

Perez and his uncle received separate letters from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, which claim they committed fraud.

“We were in a nervous breakdown because we saw the cancellation of the license and assuming the state we did fraud, we were all in shock,” said Velez.

This all started back in 2019, when nearly 200 people — including Perez and Velez — took a motorcycle course with the Pasco Motorcycle Training Institute. They took their certification to the DMV, which updated their driver’s licenses.

“They gave us a certification. This certification on our license, they just do an endorsement that says also motorcycle,” said Velez.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles emailed Spectrum News saying “the individuals … knowingly accepted the endorsements without having gone through the necessary training.”

Both Velez and Perez say they didn’t realize the course wasn’t legitimate, especially since the DMV accepted their credentials. They feel the state should review these training companies regularly instead of punishing clients two years later.

“Why then would I risk everything for just a simple endorsement?” Velez asked when asked if he knew the training course wasn’t legitimate.

“You don’t know how many other companies have been doing this as well,” said state Sen. Victor Torres. “You’ve opened up Pandora’s box and all of a sudden, you’ve found more violations are occurring.”

Torres believes this is a major public safety issue — since people are riding motorcycles without the proper training — and is now looking to craft a bill to create tougher regulations.

“I think for the companies who do issue these licenses — there should be a review every year by the state to make sure they are following the guidelines, they’re following the rules, and they’re not cutting any corners,” said Torres. “I think we will look into legislation for next year and see what can be added, with the work of the department as well.”

We asked the state why it took two years before it discovered the Pasco Motorcycle Training Institute wasn’t legitimate and why the DMV accepted the endorsements in the first place.

A spokesperson responded by email, saying “the department acted as soon as we were made aware of the issue.” The email went on to say “individuals who had their license suspended may appeal.”

In a later email, Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles spokeswoman Jessica Kelleher expanded on the reason the issue with the Pasco Motorcycle Training Institute wasn’t discovered earlier.

“Once we were made aware that the Pasco Motorcycle Training Institute — a provider entrusted by the state and the public to provide training and evaluate an individual’s ability to safely and lawfully operate a motorcycle on Florida’s roadways — was issuing these fraudulent endorsements, we immediately began investigating; ultimately suspending the nearly 200 individuals’ licenses who fraudulently obtained them as well as PMTI’s certification and program,” Kelleher wrote. “Because PMTI was a trusted state provider, and sent these documents to us claiming them to be accurate and legitimate, we had no reason at the time to believe there was any malfeasance until we received a tip that led to a lengthy and thorough investigation.”​

Velez and Perez are in the process of appealing their license suspensions. In the meantime, they’ve received a hardship license- which allows them to drive for professional, but not personal, reasons.

“(It’s been) very stressful — we’ve been back and forth,” said Velez. “I have to go to the doctor and take some medication because it’s stressful. Family involved. Employees.”

The state has suspended the motorcycle certification program pending their open investigation.

Spectrum News tried to contact the Pasco Motorcycle Training Institute, but never received a response. The company’s website is also now suspended.

JSO offers free motorcycle course to make riding safer

By General Posts

by Richard Nunn – The Morning Show meteorologist from https://www.news4jax.com

Richard Nunn participates in SMART Motorcycle Safety Course

The Weather Authority’s Richard Nunn recently participated in the new Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office SMART Motorcycle Safety Course.

The course took place at the Northeast Florida Criminal Justice Training and Education Center.

The acronym SMART stands for Safe Motorcycle and Rider Techniques. JSO joined together with the Florida Department of Transportation to provide the program free of cost to Jacksonville residents.

Watch the video above to see some of the riding techniques that Richard learned during the course.

To learn more about the program, click here.

JSO offers free motorcycle course to make riding safer

Classes taught by motor officers who ride for a living

Florida has the second-highest number of motorcycle registrations in the nation — one spot down from California and one ahead of Texas.

I am one of those registered riders and have been since my late teens. A motorcycle was my main source of transportation for a couple of years. My part-time job took me on a 60-mile round trip while attending school. All of that riding totaled 15,000-18,000 miles annually.

I do not log that kind of yearly miles these days and maybe that is a good thing. With congested roads and distracted drivers in a hurry, there are too many unfortunate accidents. When those accidents involve motorcycles, serious injuries and deaths are all too common.

What if there was a local course taught by professional riders that could help you improve your riding skills? What if just one of those skills could save your life? Would you invest your time to improve your riding skills? What if the course was free?

I hope that last item got your attention. It’s FREE!

Jacksonville is now home to the Safe Motorcycle and Rider Techniques (SMART) safety course. The goal of the training is to help students demonstrate safe motorcycle riding techniques by negotiating commonly found street riding situations in a controlled and skill-oriented manner.

Training is broken down into objectives that focus on the primary areas that can be applied to any aspect of motorcycle riding. These include the proper use of head and eyes during turning, dipping the bike to facilitate transitioning, leaning the bike to make tighter turns, and properly employing the clutch, throttle and brake to work within the motorcycle’s “gray” area.

The training is conducted in a closed course at the police academy on the Northside and taught by highly trained law enforcement motor officers using the very same techniques that place them in the top 5% of all riders. You ride your own motorcycle and all costs are covered by the Florida Department of Transportation.

You will receive attention that positively reinforces the skills the course tries to improve. By working together, we can lower the number of motorcycle-related fatalities and crashes.

My experience was eye-opening. I learned some of the habits I thought were helping me actually could put me in danger. One of those is how I rely too much on my front brakes. This habit could be potentially dangerous for Luvbug and I, especially if an incident occurred while negotiating a curve.

Let me say it again, the SMART course is FREE. It’s taught by people that will log more miles in a day than most of us will do in a month. And it’s FUN.

Enrollment is open for the May 15 class and two classes in June. For more information and to register visit jaxsheriff.org/Bizforms/S-M-A-R-T-Motorcycle-Safety-Course.aspx

Florida motorcycle club holds 15th annual memorial ride honoring fallen heroes

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by Andrea Guerrero and Drew Hill from https://www.winknews.com

Charlotte County came together to honor fallen officers on Saturday with the 15th annual Fallen Heroes Fundraiser. This year it began with a memorial motorcycle ride in honor of the first female corrections officer killed in the line of duty.

More than two dozen officers in Southwest Florida have been killed in the line of duty in recent years. Darla Latham is one of the officers.

Every year the Florida Defenders Motorcycle Club makes sure to honor her. Vinny Gorgogolione is the President of the Charlotte County chapter of the Defenders.

“Today’s our 15th annual fundraiser in the name of the Darla Latham who was killed in the line of duty during a prison break in 2003,” said Gorgogolione.

Hundreds of bikers from different chapters all around the country gathered for Latham and other fallen officers.

“I think it’s important to focus our efforts on officer safety and those that do get injured or killed on the line of duty that there’s somebody there to try to help them and their families out,” Gorgogolione said.

Toney Mineo recently retired as officers and they rode from the east coast to who their support for this forever brotherhood.

“It’s heart-wrenching for first of all that we know what they go through,” Mineo said. “Our job as a former law-enforcement is to make sure they’re OK and if they need anything to step up to the plate.”

The money raised is to support our local men and women in blue. Chief Pam Davis with Punta Gorda police knows this can make the difference.

“Know that they gave their lives for something and very important and society and that we as a police family we’re here for you too,” said Davis.

Both the Punta Gorda Department and Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office were given $2,000 to go towards officer safety equipment.

Saturday’s event raised money for families of fallen heroes and will also go to help local law enforcement departments.