Increased Fatalities Lead to Rocus on Crash Study
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation is calling for an increased priority in a federal motorcycle crash causation study in wake of a recent report that shows motorcycle highway fatalities climbing.
Motorcycle riders killed on the nation’s roads in 2007 increased more than 6 percent from the year-ago period while the overall number of highway fatalities in the nation dropped, says Mary Peters, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, in a recent news conference.
Injuries to motorcycle riders also increased, up 17 percent from a year ago.
Peters has called the increasing number of motorcycle accidents the “greatest highway safety challenge our nation faces today.”
To address motorcycle safety, the industry has committed $3 million for the motorcycle crash causation study, which will study the factors that cause crashes and then seek to provide federal programs to combat those factors.
“We hope that this new field research, the first definitive crash causation study to be done in the United States in almost 30 years, will shed some new light on the causes of crashes on our nation’s highways,” Motorcycle Safety Foundation President Tim Buche said in a press release. “Knowledge gained from this study may help all of us concerned with rider safety to develop even more effective countermeasures to enhance the safety of motorcyclists everywhere.
“For the safety of motorcyclists, we need this federal study to be of high priority, and move forward as soon as possible.”
Doug Hecox, a spokesman for the Federal Highway Administration, which is part of the Department of Transportation, says that elements of the first phase of the crash causation study have begun. However, data gathering has not started as researchers continue to work on refining the study.
“It’s going to take awhile to shape the parameters of the study, to determine what they’re trying to find and make sure that everybody in the academic community would find the results of whatever they come up with academically defendable,” Hecox said.
He did note researchers met Aug. 20 with a motorcycle study group, which is providing insight and alerting researchers of any concerns they might have with the study.
Funding also remains an issue. Congress has committed $2 million to the study to go with the industry’s $3 million. However, Hecox says researchers are looking for additional funding.
“Whether that actually comes about I don’t know,” he said. “It should not have an affect on the overall quality of the study that they have got under way right now.”
Meanwhile the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) is urging first-time riders to take an approved motorcycle riding training course. This year, an estimated 430,000 people will take an MSF RiderCourse. Visit www.msf-usa.org for more information.
Lehman Trikes to Close Last of its Canadian Operations
Lehman Trikes will close its Westlock, Alberta, Canada fiberglass facility because of a 25 percent increase in fuel and transportation costs. The expenditure makes it no longer financially viable to continue operations at the Alberta facility, according to a Lehman Trikes press release.
“Keeping this facility operational is no longer economically feasible,” said Les Brown, chairman of the board of directors. “Fuel and transportation costs keep increasing to the point that we can no longer endorse further activity in Westlock. We wish to extend our sincerest appreciation to all employees for their loyalty and their many contributions made to Lehman’s success over the years. We wish them all the best in the future.”
Although the decision was difficult, Dan Patterson, president and CEO of Lehman Trikes, says it will benefit the company.
“While we have experienced 26 percent revenue growth over last year, our profitability is down,” he said in the release. “This action is expected to increase our profitability for the benefit of all shareholders. Our Westlock employees have been dedicated to Lehman Trikes’ success over the years, and they should take pride in their contributions to our success.”
Lehman will offer all employees working in the Westlock fiberglass facility severance benefits.
Harley Recalls Nearly 50,000 Motorcycles
Harley-Davidson recalled 47,579 model year 2008 motorcycles, including the FLHP, FLHPE, FLHR, FLHRC, FLHRSE4, FLHT, FLHTC, FLHTCU, FLHTCUSE3, FLHTP, FLHX and FLTR, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The recall was issued because the fuel filter shell could crack leading to loss of fuel pressure. The loss of fuel pressure can cause diminished performance and possibly the engine to stall or a no-start condition.
PowerSports Network Integrates IM/Chat
PowerSports Network (PSN) and ContactAtOnce! have agreed to a licensing contract that will give PSN users online marketing and dealer chat tools, stated a PowerSports Network press release.
ContactAtOnce!’s tools can help PSN create more live interaction between customers and dealers, says Peg Kiedinger, general manager of PSN. “By embedding ContactAtOnce!, we are able to help move more Web site visitors into live conversations with a dealership’s sales people,” she said.
ContactAtOnce! offers products like “drop-in business cards” that appear if one or more sales people at a dealership are available at the moment a site visitor is looking at a motorcycle, boat or RV. Site visitors can contact the dealer in a few different ways, like instant messaging (IM/chat).
Two Brothers Racing Opens Showroom at its Headquarters
Two Brothers Racing opened a new Top Level Showroom at its headquarters in Santa Ana, Calif.
The showroom contains the company’s custom-performance products and accessories, including motorcycle and ATV exhaust systems, hard parts and apparel, stated a company press release.
The showroom also has a rotating display of custom bikes, sponsored athletes’ race machines and new products from the Two Brothers Racing shop.
“We had a lot of fun building this room,” said Dave Cullinan, director of business development. “And it turned out perfectly — representing the Two Brothers Image of high-quality, custom performance with style.”
Jeff Whitten, Two Brothers Racing vice president, added, “We are very proud of the new showroom. We look forward to our customers, vendors, clients and industry friends stopping in to learn more about our products and to see what’s new at Two Brothers Racing.”
Global Marketing Company Adds Senior Management
Just Marketing International (JMI), a global motorsports marketing company, announced it has added Aled Rees to its experienced senior management team as vice president of client services.
Rees will manage fulfillment of JMI’s deliverables to its corporate accounts currently participating in the F.I.A. Formula One World championship, including Diageo (Johnnie Walker), Lenovo and Hilton Hotels. He will additionally have daily supervisory responsibilities for the growing JMI account teams operating from its U.K. hub located at Silverstone in the Silverstone Innovation Centre.
“Based on Aled’s international corporate and sponsorship experience and effectiveness, we are confident he will make a significant contribution to our international service offerings,” said Jon Flack, executive vice president of Client Services, for JMI. “Aled’s visibility and credibility in European motorsports circles adds to his JMI contributions.”
Major California OHV?Area May be Part of Development Plan
The Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center has submitted an application to the Bureau of Land Management to essentially put a hold on 422,000 acres in California while it studies those areas for possible acquisition.
A large portion of the area, called the Johnson Valley OHV, is a Mecca for off-road recreation and is home to many events, including off-road racing and competitive rock crawling. The area is approximately 189,000 acres and is located in the high desert of California, just east of Los Angeles.
For the past six months the OHV community has been aware the Marines are studying this area for possible expansion. As a result, a small working group of OHV leaders has been working with the Marines to help them understand how important this area is to the Southern California OHV community. It’s the largest open OHV area in the country, and home to competition events such as motorcycle races, 2 and 4WD off-road races and extreme rock crawling events.
The application the Marines submitted requires the BLM prepare a “Notice of Proposed Withdrawal and Opportunity for Public Meeting.” When this notice is published in the Federal Register, it starts a 90-day public comment period, and it segregates the public land identified in the application for two years.
In the Aug. 11, 2008, issue of Powersports Business, we incorrectly listed Patrick Garland as director of sales for Bosski. Garland is actually the director of sales for Darkwoods Hunting Blinds. We also incorrectly stated that Bosski manufacturers portable blinds. We apologize for any inconvenience this might have caused. psb