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Mile Marker: July, 2012

By Fred Nabkey

Robert W. Baird and Co. financial analysts say that more of Harley-Davidson’s motorcycles are selling at MSRP or above. This is the first time since 2008 that motorcycles haven’t sold below MSRP. The analysts conducted a survey of 40 dealerships around the nation for their study… 1,100 motorcycles gathered at the Cleveland Browns Stadium for a 40-mile tour past 10 community firehouses at the 8th annual Firefighters Memorial Ride. The ride ended at Erie Harley-Davidson in Avon, Ohio. John “Kiks” Kikol, president of the ride committee, estimated the event raised more than $25,000 to help support the families of lost firefighters, award scholarships and to give a donation to Camp Cheerful in Strongsville, Ohio… Congratulations to the team at Wausau Harley-Davidson in Rothschild, Wisconsin. They sponsor AMA Pro Grand National Rider Willie McCoy who, at 42 years old, won the prestigious Springfield Mile for the second year in a row. This is the Indy 500 of motorcycle racing, so winning this event twice is a real feat and doing it at 42 years old; I think I would go out on a high note… Speaking of high notes Danny Ingram returned to the Mile where his career ended 19 years ago after a crash left him with a serious brain injury. Ingram, a three-time AMA Grand National Champion, qualified for the main event and went on to finish 11th. His sponsor is Southside Harley-Davidson in Indy. Welcome back, Danny… The Warthog Motorcycle Chapter of Mansfield, Ohio, held their 3rd annual Ride to Remember Poker Run with 100 riders from Ohio, New York, West Virginia, Michigan and Kentucky helping to raise more than $3,000 for the Richland County Sheriff’s Department and the Mansfield Police and Fire Departments. The event was hosted by Hales Harley-Davidson in Mansfield… Troy Murphy, 40, filed a police report December 5 in Indiana that his Harley-Davidson worth $16,500 had been stolen from his garage. He filed a claim with his insurance on December 14 and the insurance company issued a check to the lien holder. Indiana State Police Officers located the motorcycle on March 17 with—you guessed it—Murphy in the saddle. He was arraigned on April 12 and still insisted his motorcycle was stolen and didn’t know where it was. He has been charged with Class C Felony Insurance Fraud and misdemeanor false reporting. He faces a 10-year stint in the State Hotel… Michael Hon of Poplar Bluff, Missouri, was out for a cruise on his motorcycle and failed to stop at a stop sign. Police tried to pull him over and he fled. After a short pursuit and scuffle the police found a “shake and bake” meth lab strapped to the back of his scoot. There was enough pressure in the bottle that it could have done some major damage to the rider, bike and the police. Yup; another guest of the State Hotel… And the fight goes on: Who is the oldest Harley dealer? Kegel Harley-Davidson in Rockford, Illinois, is celebrating their 100th Anniversary this year with plenty of events, including their official party in June. Our own Jack Ryan lives in Rockford and will probably give us a full story of the event. According to Harley-Davidson Motor Company records, Joe Kegel signed up as a dealer with none other than Arthur Davidson himself in 1912. The shop opened in Freeport, Illinois, and moved to Rockford in 1923 and has stayed there ever since… E.J. Potter, the “Michigan Madman,” has passed away at a young 71. I remember seeing him race his Chevy V-8-powered drag bike back in the early ’60s doing exhibition runs. At the time there was not a class for him to race in. With no clutch, they would prop up the rear tire, fire up the engine, lower it down and he was gone on a 140-mph pass. He also built Evil Knievel’s jet-powered trike, and spent over 50 years as a showman with bikes named “Widowmaker” and “Bloody Mary.” He left motorcycles to stuff Allison aircraft engines into tractors and won two world championships… Now that we have joined the ranks of the helmetless here in Michigan, our Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, who has been a Harley rider for many years, visited Grand Rapids Harley-Davidson in Hudsonville to promote Motorcycle Safety and Awareness. Michigan stats show a rider is injured once every three hours, and our fatal crashes have increased 33 percent since 2001. The Secretary of State’s office is now rolling out a new initiative to keep riders safe on the road and will now offer a one-day safety class in the Grand Rapids area for both new and seasoned riders… I have always believed that cooperating with a police officer is always the best choice when your butt or your freedom is on the line; don’t you? I would imagine that Scott Stelling of Shiloh, Illinois, wishes he had left his wife Shannon home when he got pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence and speeding. It seems there was some shouting and pushing going when his wife started going at it with the po-po and she socked one of the officers in the eye. Now she has been charged with striking a police officer… Anthony Cutrano, 52, of Palos Heights, Illinois, a U.S. Navy veteran and co-founder of the Illinois Motorcycle Freedom Run to support veterans causes; co-founder of a monument in St. Anne for Marine Capt. Ryan Beaupre, one of the first Illinois casualties in the Iraq war; and co-founder of the Middle East Conflicts Wall Memorial in Marseilles was fatally injured in a motorcycle accident on Sunday, May 27. Cutrano, a member of Toys for Tots and ABATE of Illinois leaves behind his wife Linda and son Chance. I’m not sure of the address but try to send a donation to the Family of Chance and the Linda Cutrano fund… That’s it for this month. It’s all about you, the Midwest biker. Ride fast, but ride safe.


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