The Vegas Bellagio Robbed by Motorcyclist (video)

bellagio The Las Vegas Bellagio is probably best known for its amazing orchestrated water fountain.  However, lately it has been in the news more for a bold heist.  On December 14, a robber in a motorcycle helmet bolted from the ritzy casino with $1.5 million worth of poker chips.  After exiting the casino, he jumped on his motorcycle and rode off.

Police said the gun-wielding robber grabbed a box of chips from a craps table.  He had gamblers and dealers freeze at gun-point during the heist.

Authorities believe he may be the same thief who made off with $20,000 a week earlier from the tournament poker room of the Suncoast Hotel and Casino, although that thief wore a different color helmet.  The Suncoast is 20 minutes from the Bellagio.

The last laugh may be on the moto-thief.  Bellagio officials say that they have many measures in place to help identify the thief if he is to try to cash in the chips in the casino.  The chips are specific to the Bellagio and are useless elsewhere.

We are not sure if the thief rode off on a Suzuki Bandit!

Take a look at the surveillance video of the escape.


Written by Tim Kessel, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Eugene Laverty Wins Irish Motorcyclist of the Year Award

eugene_lavertyEugene Laverty was just awarded the Irish Motorcyclist of the Year award. Laverty, who will be moving up to the World Superbike division for the 2011 season, joins an elite group of Irish riders such as Joey Dunlop, Phillip McCallen, and Brian Reid.

Laverty finished second in the World Supersport division this year behind Kenan Sofuoglu. Laverty racked up 8 wins during the 2010 season and 10 podium finishes.

“It was a nice award to get, it was the first time I have won it and it was a public vote,” said Laverty. “Last year Ryan Farquhar won it and it is normally road racers who get it, so it was nice to be recognized.

“Tom Herron was the first winner back in 1978 and Joey Dunlop won it five times. It is a very nice trophy and it has a replica of Joey Dunlop’s crash helmet on top of it.”

Laverty will be riding with Marco Melandri on the Yamaha Sterligarda team in 2011. Laverty and Melandri just finished testing at Portimao in preparation for the start of the season on February 25th.

“I’m pretty pleased with the test. It’s a nice way to go into the winter break. In the three days we got a lot of laps done, the second day especially was a big breakthrough,” Laverty said. “So far we’ve had two one day tests so the second day here was where we really made the bike mine.”

Written by Dan Evon, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

AMA Motorcyclist of the Year…The Governator?

Arnold The Time Magazine Person of the Year has been both JFK and Hitler.  In that same vein, the American Motorcyclist Association’s Motorcyclist of the Year can be a person who has had a profoundly positive or profoundly negative influence on the sport. Maybe you can guess what influence outgoing California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has had.

As we reported in an earlier article (http://allaboutbikes.com/everyday/news/3101-new-law-in-california-targets-motorcycle-exhausts), the Terminator lived up to his nickname as he signed into law a bill that is discriminatory and fundamentally changes the way motorcycle exhausts are regulated and labeled.  Unfortunately, the law may pave the way for similar legislation by other states.

So what’s the rationale for this interesting decision by the AMA?  Here is what AMA CEO Rob Dingman said, “Gov. Schwarzenegger signed a piece of legislation that has rocked the motorcycling world, and will impact motorcyclists in other states as well for years to come. This makes him the logical choice for the 2010 AMA Motorcyclist of the Year.”  He continued, “As a motorcyclist, Gov. Schwarzenegger should have known better.  Now California’s motorcyclists, as well as key segments of our industry, are going to be negatively impacted.”

In that light, the decision makes sense.  Let’s hope that the AMA’s strong statement with the naming of this year’s Motorcyclist of the Year will resonate with other states and legislators.

Written by Tim Kessel, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com