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Mile Marker: May, 2013

By Fred Nabkey


On March 26, Consumers Reports published their findings of their first-ever motorcycle reliability survey. The findings are—and get this—Harley-Davidson motorcycles are repair-prone. About one in four owners reported a major problem in the previous four years. Now wait for it: they listed the other brands, too. At the end of the finding they said, now here it is: “Fortunately, most repairs were fairly inexpensive. Three-quarters cost less than $200 out of pocket.” I am not sure where the issue is… Spring is here, at least for some of us in the Midwest. I want to share a safety video that we have here in Michigan. Our Secretary of State, Ruth Johnson, is an avid motorcyclist and a member of ABATE of Michigan. Please watch this short video and you can appreciate the message she is sharing with all. This is a very good message for all of us: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkgmuNrYufg&feature=player_embedded… Seems that Nascar driver Clint Bowyer doesn’t want to pay some of his bills to Klock Werks Kustom Cycles in Mitchell, South Dakota. He had about $31,000 dollars of quality work and paint done to his scoot about four years ago and has asked a SoDak judge to dismiss the case. He also says the court in South Dakota’s Davison County has no jurisdiction over him because his agreement with Klock Werks was made in Arizona, the motorcycle was purchased in Minnesota and it was delivered to him in North Carolina. Bowyer also stated he repaid the debt through promotional services. I’ll try to keep you posted on this… Windemere Park Charter Academy students in Lansing, Michigan, were rubbing their eyes in disbelief when a group of big, burly bikers showed up for a special Bikers for Books assembly on March 19. Badge Valasquez of Olivet dazzled them with tales of Jesse James and Christopher Columbus, while Tank Ouderkirk of St. Johns explained how he struggled in school, but persevered to become a manager who supervises 16 employees at Michigan State University. “Without reading, I couldn’t do my job.” Bruiser Alexander of Grand Ledge found it hard to read; he never gave up, and cites his four children as his reason for being part of Bikers for Books. As they were ready to leave, Velasquez told them that school librarian Angie Moore was their travel agent and would take them where they want to go… Congratulations to Tom De Vries of Waterloo, Iowa, on winning the 2012 Street Glide, a 2012 Fat Boy and a year’s worth of gas from the Harleys for Heroes campaign that is run for the veteran’s charity Healing Heroes Network. If the promotion does not come to your local dealership, you can go online and purchase your tickets for a chance to win. The new promotion for the year has already started… Bob Oyler, who owns Capital City Harley-Davidson in Madison, Wisconsin, has decided it was time to hang up his gloves. The dealership has been sold to Terry and Josh Doughty, who have owned Harley-Davidson of Appleton since 1980. The dealership will sport a new name, Badger Harley-Davidson, and should be up and doing business by April 1. Most of the staff has been retained and the location will not change. Congrats to Oyler on his retirement and to the Doughty boys on their new adventure… Kudos to Senator Dave Bloomfield of Hoskins, Nebraska, who has introduced legislation to repeal the state’s helmet law. He presented LB393 to the Legislature’s Transportation and Telecommunications Committee. The bill would lift the requirement for all operators and passengers over 21 years old. Eye protection would still be mandatory (logical) and riders under 21 would still be required to wear a helmet… In the State of Ohio, the AMA, ABATE of Ohio, the Ohio Motorized Trails Association and other concerned riders put a halt to House Bill 35 that would have transferred monies from the Motorcycle Safety and Education Fund into the State Highway Safety Fund. Ohio motorcyclists pay $6 from each motorcycle registration to fund the Motorcycle Ohio rider education program. In my opinion, this was huge; that money would have been lost to the bureaucrats forever. Ohio is a huge motorcycle state and this could have been the first act for the state government to start taking away their rights even more. Great job, Buckeyes… So Indian has developed the Thunder Stroke 111 engine for their motorcycles, which out-displaces the CVO models by one cubic inch. It will be built in Polaris’ Engine Assembly Plant in Osceola, Wisconsin. Not to worry; I would imagine that with just a little tweaking by the big wrenches up at the Pilgrim Road plant, that won’t last… Spyke’s Clinton County Harley-Davidson in Frankfort, Indiana, is supporting Shelina Moreda in the 2013 AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series. She will be back on a Harley and riding the #93 for the first time since 2011 when she was the first female to ever race a motorcycle at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the AMA Pro XR1200 series. At Daytona she finished 18th, but I look for her to improve over the season. Not only can she ride, boys; she is a looker. She also gets support from She’z Racing, organizers of Girls-Only Motorcycle Skills Camps and retailers of female-based race apparel and accessories available at www.shezracing.com… That’s it for this month, folks. It is, and always will be, about you, the Midwest riders. Ride fast, but ride safe.


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