Blake Young Wins at MMP

Blake_Young_2Blake Young and Josh Hayes put on a fantastic show during the AMA Superbike race at Miller Motorsports Park. Hayes and Hayden swapped spots more than 10 times throughout a thrilling race in Utah, but in the end, it was Young who took home the win.

“From the beginning of the race I just tried to find a comfortable pace and hit my marks,” Young said. “Hayes was running a little faster than I was comfortable with, so I kept chasing him and then tried to settle back down into my pace. Then I decided to just put my head down and push all the way through. I wanted to leave it all on the track.

Young would end up winning by .7 seconds, but that doesn’t show how close the race actually was. Hayes was awarded a point at the end of the race, but he would have preferred the race win.

“It was just good racing,” Hayes said. “Neither one of us wanted to give up. On the last lap, he was definitely running well… the back kicked out on me and all of sudden I went from trying to figure out how to win the race, to trying to keep Tommy behind me.”

At the end of the race, both riders complimented each other on being aggressive, but safe, throughout the race.

“I feel very comfortable riding with these guys,” said Young. “They’re both racing veterans and they know what they’re doing out there.”

Tommy Hayden nearly took the second place spot from Hayes on the final lap. Hayes would finish .05 seconds behind the 2010 champion.

Hayes, Hayden, and Young, have taken every race win so far this season. The three top riders will go at it again in just four days when the AMA Superbike riders head to Elkhart, Wisconsin, for the Road America event.

AMA Superbike Race Results

  1. Young
  2. Hayes
  3. Hayden
  4. R. Hayden
  5. Rapp
  6. Clark
  7. May
  8. Bostrom
  9. Anthony
  10. Toye

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Early Motorcycle Pioneer, Norbert Schickel, to be Inducted Into Motorcycle Hall of Fame

Schickel_-_Hall_of_FameThe Motorcycle Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the fourth member of the class of 2011: Norbert Schickel, an innovative designer and builder in the early years of American motorcycle manufacturing.

As the founder of Schickel Motor Co., Schickel was part of the motorcycle design boom that occurred in the United States between 1905 and 1915. He will be honored at the 2011 Motorcycle Hall of Fame induction ceremony as part of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Legends & Champions Weekend at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 18-20.

“It’s fitting for the Motorcycle Hall of Fame to reach back 100 years in time and honor one of the true pioneers of American motorcycling,” said Jeffrey V. Heininger, chairman of the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, which raises money for the Hall of Fame. “The Hall of Fame honors and memorializes the men and women who have made motorcycling great. And without early pioneers like Norbert Schickel, there would be no American motorcycling.”

Schickel’s vision and designs were evident in the two-cycle motorcycles that he developed. He also helped popularize the twist grip control and had a patented “spring fork front suspension” and “fly wheel magneto.”

Schickel unveiled his first motorcycle at the 1911 Chicago Motorcycle Show, and Schickel Motor Co. began producing motorcycles in 1912 in Stamford, Conn. The company sold more than 1,000 motorcycles, but was forced to file for bankruptcy and close its doors in 1924 due to competition from the automobile industry and other motorcycle manufacturers.

“It was an incredible thrill to learn that he has been selected for the Motorcycle Hall of Fame,” said Ken Anderson, Schickel’s grandson. “He would be thrilled and humbled. If he were here, he would say there are many others who are more deserving.”

Schickel is the fourth member of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2011 to be announced. He joins magazine editor and innovator Phil Schilling, industry leader Fred Fox and roadracing champion Doug Polen. The final 2011 inductee will be announced in coming days.

The Class of 2011 will officially be inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame on Nov. 18. Other highlights of the AMA Legends & Champions Weekend include the 2011 Motorcycle Hall of Fame Concours d’Elegance on Saturday, Nov. 19, featuring some of the country’s most impressive original and restored classic motorcycles and the AMA Racing Championship Banquet on Sunday, Nov. 20, where AMA Racing amateur champions of all ages will be recognized for their 2011 accomplishments.

Tickets for the AMA Legends & Champions weekend are now available through this online registration form: Tickets may be ordered over the phone by calling (800) 262-5646.

The AMA Legends & Champions Weekend also includes the final round of the GEICO AMA EnduroCross National Championship Series on Saturday evening, Nov. 19. EnduroCross tickets are available here or by phone at (702) 284-7777 or (888) 234-2334.

The AMA Legends & Champions Weekend will be held at the Las Vegas Red Rock Resort, a world-class spa, hotel and casino, featuring a range of entertainment, dining and family-friendly attractions. The facility’s expansive ballrooms provide a stunning backdrop for the AMA Legends & Champions Weekend, which is certain to be memorable for the 2011 inductees, champions, families, friends and fans. Room reservations are available now at a special group rate by calling (866) 767-7773 and referencing group AMA or AMERICANMOTO. Online room reservations are available at RedRockLasVegas.com. For online reservations, use the promo code RCIMOTR.

More information about the Motorcycle Hall of Fame can be found at MotorcycleMuseum.org.

[Press Release Courtesy of the AMA]

Senators Send Letter Urging a Ban on Funding For Motorcycle-Only Checkpoints

motorcycle_only_checkpointRepublicans and Democrats may not be able to agree on much, but a dozen senators from both parties agree that motorcycle-only checkpoints are a bad idea. Republican Jim Sensenbrenner and 11 other senators have sent a letter to a key U.S. House committee urging them to support a bill which would ban federal funding for motorcycle-only checkpoints.

Congress is currently considering the surface transportation re-authorization bill, and Sensenbrenner and his colleagues are trying to get H.$. 904 and H.Res. 239 included in the bill.

According to the AMA:

  • H.R. 904 would prohibit the U.S. Transportation Secretary from providing grants or any funds to a state or local government to be used for programs to check helmet usage or to create motorcycle-only checkpoints.
  • H.Res. 239 would support efforts to retain a ban on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) ability to lobby state legislators using federal tax dollars and urges the agency to focus on motorcycle crash prevention and rider education and training.

A dozen senators have signed the letter, including; Thomas Petri (R-Wis.), Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa), Reid Ribble (R-Wis.), Ron Paul (R-Texas), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.), Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Bob Filner (D-Calif.), Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.), Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) and Mike Ross (D-Ark.).

Here is a portion of the letter which was sent to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure as well as to the panel’s Subcommittee on Highways and Transit:

“These important pieces of legislation would ensure that the Department of Transportation (DOT) and NHTSA focus on proven methods of motorcycle safety… NHTSA’s Motorcycle Law Enforcement Demonstration Program has not proven to be an effective use of taxpayer dollars….

“Through this program, the state of Georgia was provided a $70,000 grant to create motorcycle-only checkpoints to inspect rider compliance with DOT-compliant helmet regulations. The checkpoints are not a proven method of ensuring motorcyclist safety, and have certainly not been an effective use of limited federal taxpayer dollars….

“We take motorcycle safety seriously and want NHTSA to focus its safety efforts on proven lifesaving methods. Including H.R. 904 and H.Res. 239 in the surface transportation re-authorization bill would set the record straight, that the House of Representatives supports rider education, driver awareness, training and proper licensing as the best methods of preventing motorcycle crashes, not mandatory federal helmet laws.”

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Blue Oyster Cult, Jason Britton, Added to BigM Weekend Lineup

blue_oyster_cultThe BigM Weekend at Miller Motorsports Park next weekend is going to be a blast. Not only will there be plenty of fantastic racing from the AMA, the World Superbike series will also be racing for the first time in the United States this year. But the action won’t just stay on the track. Miller Motorsports has just announced that Blue Oyster Cult and Jason Britton will be on hand for some great post-race entertainment.

Here is the press release from MMP:

The upcoming BigM Weekend presented by Lucas Oil at Miller Motorsports Park, scheduled for May 28-30, is shaping up to be even bigger than anticipated.

Jason Britton, perhaps the world’s most popular stunt motorcyclist due to his massive exposure with television programs on SPEED Channel, in movie stunt work and on home videos, will be performing throughout the weekend with his Team No Limit teammate, Eric Hoenshell.

“Eric and I are very excited to be part of The BigM Weekend at Miller Motorsports Park,” said Britton. “We look forward to meeting and performing for our fans and fellow motorcycle enthusiasts. It’s all about the passion on two wheels! See you at the races!”

Britton and Hoenshell will perform on-track exhibitions twice each day, during the lunch hour and at the end of the day, on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. In addition, Britton will appear at the pre-race party at Honda Suzuki of Salt Lake, 2354 S. State Street in Salt Lake City, on Friday evening at 6:00 p.m., and at the Fan Party in the paddock at Miller Motorsports Park between 5:00 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday evening prior to that evening’s concert, which features Dierks Bentley, Sawyer Brown and Reckless Kelly.

Additional stunt bike exhibitions will be performed by Chris Pfeiffer and Chris “Teach” McNeil, both of whom represent BMW Motorrad. They will be performing in the Paddock Zone throughout the weekend.

Also, the lineup for Sunday night’s concert has been finalized with the addition of Blue Oyster Cult, who will perform in addition to the already-announced Creedence Clearwater Revisited.

For nearly three decades, Blue Oyster Cult has been thrilling fans of intelligent hard rock worldwide with powerful albums loaded with classic songs. Indeed, the Long Island, New York-based band is revered within the hard rock and heavy metal scene for its pioneering work. The group is well known for songs including “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,” “Burnin’ for You,” “Godzilla,” “Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll,” “Veteran of the Psychic Wars,” “Astronomy” and “This Ain’t the Summer of Love.” They have sold over 24 million albums worldwide – including 7 million in the US.

The BigM Weekend presented by Lucas Oil at Miller Motorsports Park over Memorial Day weekend, May 28-30, will feature the fifth round of the 2011 FIA Superbike World Championship, making their only appearance in the Western Hemisphere in their fourth annual visit to Utah. Support races from AMA Pro Road Racing will include the National Guard Superbike Championship, the Daytona SportBike Championship, the Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport Championship and the Vance & Hines XR1200 Championship. There will also be a major tribute to our armed forces in recognition of Memorial Day.

To obtain tickets for or information about The BigM Weekend, visit the event-specific website at www.BigMWeekend.com or call 435-277-RACE (7223). For information regarding Miller Motorsports Park, visit the track’s website at www.MillerMotorsportsPark.com.

[Press Release Courtesy of Miller Motorsports Park]

Helmets, Really? Time to Refocus

HelmetWe all know the arguments and the people behind the push both in favor and against mandatory helmet laws for motorcyclists. The interesting play in the political world can be entertaining if it were not for the fact that the consequences are so dire for riders. Democrat or Republican does not make much of a difference – motorcyclists are of every political stripe, the riding binds us, not our voting record.

However, when it comes to the constant push and pull over helmet ordinances around the United States, it seems that many of us will align for one solitary purpose – get rid of them! Fighting for what many call a ‘freedom’ is all fine and good and we have had some success at this in many states, but failures in others. In reality, the laws seem to come and go like a metronome of public opinion in some areas, while they are practically written into the Constitution of other states.

Helmet laws around the U.S.

The problem is that when we motorcyclists become targets of other prejudiced legislation, we don’t seem to get the same group-dynamic energy for the pro-motorcycle legal effort. This must change, if it does not we will begin to become less and less a part of our modern transportation system. The public may suddenly decide that we riders need not use the same roads anymore unless we follow their rules – rules which could seriously limit our sport to the point of choking it off.

It may sound like Cassandra or Chicken Little, but all you must do is look at three current issues as examples to see why this is so important:

  • California, New York City, Denver, and others have all enacted laws which prevent a motorcycle owner from using anything but the very expensive OEM exhaust system – even if you can’t buy one.
  • The recent outlawing of motorcycles built specifically for young riders due to unintended consequences from a new law known as CPSIA, which was meant to protect children.
  • NHTSA offering large grants to police departments for employing motorcycle-only checkpoints in cities all over the nation – simple discrimination.Troy Lee pushes son's new ride at Malcolm Smith's Dealership - Defying CPSIA

Those are only the beginning of what is sure to come in the next few years. This is not an issue about conservative or liberal – it is an issue of education and understanding. Legislators tend to go with the people who pay for their campaigns; when they come across an issue that has no affiliated donor, they usually follow public opinion. Since motorcycle owners (which includes people who rarely ride if ever) make up around 2~3% of Americans at most, we do not have much political impact compared to a group like Wall Street bankers. To get anything done, we need every single rider we can muster to work for our cause.

One important way to get involved is to work with the most powerful bike-focused lobbying group in the world, the American Motorcyclist Association. Or, you may get in touch with and sign up with a local ABATE chapter to support their training efforts (ABATE spends too much time on the helmet issue, but they also support funding for motorcycle safety training and advocate motorcycle awareness for motorists). Just becoming a member of the AMA – for the low, low price of only US$39 per annum – means that you are sending money to an organization which will work tirelessly for your riding rights, and has the organizational structure to keep up the pressure. Join up with one of these groups, both are non-profit, to take the first big step to being a responsible and helpful motorcyclist.

Former Gov Schwarzenegger astride Zero - AMA Motorcyclist of the Year for a bad reason...Another very helpful step would be to become politically active. Even if you have no strong opinions about who should run your state or the nation, you can at least be sure to cast your vote for someone who understands your unique needs as a rider. The AMA can help you with his as well; they produced their first Voter Guide in 2010 and they have a special Action page where any rider can quickly contact their local legislators about issues which matter to riders. ABATE provides differing levels of similar support depending on the state organization. The goal is to let the people who represent you in government know that motorcyclists are Americans too.

Whichever steps you see as a viable and realistic for you, it is important that we start working together on more than the old standard fight about helmet laws. Our world is changing quickly – look at how far motorcycle technology has come in the last decade – and motorcyclists could easily be left behind as the various governments around the nation begin planning for the future of transport without us. Get yourself active, get yourself involved and don’t let the cagers write the rules we who are free must live by!

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com