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February 2018 • FREE midwestmotorcyclist.com

Escaping Winter

Also in this issue:

Beating the Cabin Fever Blues The State of the Motorcycle Industry Are Motorcyclists Safer Than Car Drivers? Harley-Davidson Flat Track Contingency Jumps


BMW Motorcycles of Grand Rapids 5995 S Division Grand Rapids, MI 49548-5730 616-530-6900 www.bmwmcgr.com


TM

Midwest Motorcyclist

3


Columns 5 8 9 13 21

IN THIS ISSUE…

To Our Readers Ask Dr. Cycholl by Patrick Armitage Motorcycling & Law: U.S. Fidelity Insurance v MCCA: Can PIP settle wihtout MCCA approval by Dondi Vesprini Are Motorcyclists Safer Than Car Drivers? by Jason Waechter The Preacher Speaks About... And Old Friend by Franz Hoffer

Features, News & Reviews cc media publications

This Month’s Contributors: Contributing Editor Patrick Armitage, Franz Hoffer Plus, Blane Kamp, Gene Southard Dondi Vesprini, Jason Waechter

5 6 10 13 14 16 16 17

Beating the Cabin Fever Blues by Ray Peabody Goodbye Midwest Snow & Cold. Hello Baja Sunshine & Warmth! by Gene Southard 27th Annual Indiana Motorcycle Expo Rolls into Town February 16-18 by Dan Forst Book Review: The University of Gravel Roads: GlobalLessons From a Four-Year Motorcycle Adventure by Rene Cormier, Reviewed by Blane Kamp Motorcycle Solutions Expands Offering Harley-Davidson Flat Track Contingency Jumps for 2018 The State of the Motorcycle Industry by Ray Peabody Product Review - Cruz Tools Road Tech H-3 Kit for Harley-Davidson Motorcycles Reviewed by Gene Southard

Resources 5 13 20

Advertiser Index Event Schedule Michigan Harley-Davidson Dealer Event Schedule

Cover photo: Gene Southard and a riding companion overlooking a bay off the Baja Peninsula in Mexico.

Publisher/Managing Editor

Ray Peabody publisher@midwestmotorcyclist.com rpeabody@sbcglobal.net

Advertising Sales/ Web Master / Distribution Ray Peabody publisher@midwestmotorcyclist.com rpeabody@sbcglobal.net

WARM DAYS AHEAD: Be Ready to Ride When They Arrive Leather or Textile

Stocking Helmets by Bell, Fulmer, & Bad Ass

Jackets as low as

Cover Design Julie Kirkendoll

$8500 Men’s Wrangler

How to contact us: 709 Fall Street Spring Lake, Michigan 49456 (810) 923-8738 www.midwestmotorcyclist.com Copyright 1998-2016 cc media. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, photocopied, or electronically transmitted without the expressed written permission of the publisher. Advertisers, their agents, contributors of event information, free-lance contributors and/or editorial contributors will defend, indemnify and hold cc media and RTP Enterprises, Inc. harmless in any claims of libel, copyright or trademark infringement, plagiarism, violation of local, national, or international privacy laws and any other claim or suit that may arise subsequent to publication of said advertisement, stories, event information, and/or editorial. Submission of material for consideration for publication in Michigan Motorcyclist/Midwest Motorcyclist, American CycleRider either solicited or unsolicited, constitutes agreement to these terms. Except for the Publisher and Managing Editor, all writers are free-lance contributors. Any and all opinions expressed are those of the authors, and don’t necessarily reflect those of the publisher.

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February 2018


123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 ABATE of Indiana ....................................20 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 A.B.C. Harley-Davidson ..............21, 22, 23 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Battle Creek Harley-Davidson....21, 22, 23 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Baumchen Detroit Swap Meet.............................15 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 BMW Motorcycles of Detroit....................11, 17 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 BMW-Motus of Grand Rapids..................2, 5, 13 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 BMW, SE Michigan. .........................7, 14 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Capitol Harley-Davidson .......21, 22, 23 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Classic MotorSports................21, 22, 23 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Cycle Conservation Club ......................8 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Diamond Gusset Jeans ......................12 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Gildner’s Harley-Davidson ..............21, 22, 23 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Grand Rapids H-D............................21, 22, 23 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Great Lakes Dual Sporters ..................8 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Great Lakes Harley-Davidson.........21, 22, 23 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Hamilton Harley-Davidson .......10, 21, 22, 23 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Holeshot Harley-Davidson ................21, 22, 23 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Hot Rod Harley-Davidson .................21, 22, 23 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Indiana Motorcycle Expo....................................3 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Jason Waechter, The Motorcycle Lawyer..24 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Knee Dragging Daddy / Vince Ursini.........15 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 MI Harley-Davidson dealers ..........21, 22, 23 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Michigan Sport Touring Riders.....................16 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 MotorCity Motorcycles............................18, 19 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Motor City Underwriters ......................13 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Motorcycle Solutions, LLC......................12 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Perry’s Harley-Davidson ..............21, 22, 23 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Ray C’s Harley-Davidson...............21, 22, 23 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Renfro Productions...................................3 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Retail Warehouse .........................4, 17 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Sandy’s H-D ....................................21, 22, 23 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Shiawassee H-D ............................21, 22, 23 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Sport Bike Track Gear ................................6 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Sweet Trikes ...........................................12 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Tecumseh Harley-Davidson ..........21, 22, 23 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Town & Country H-D........................21, 22, 23 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Zip’s 45th Parallel H-D...................21, 22, 23 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345

Advertiser Index

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Midwest Motorcyclist

Beating the Cabin Fever Blues by Ray Peabody warm weather arrives. Except for “It was the best of this winter. times, it was the worst of You’re probably not as affected times...” That was the by the cold if you have a heated, beginning of the first sentence insulated garage. If you do, I’m of Charles Dickens novel, A Tale envious. If you don’t, it’s too of Two Cities. It’s similar to the damned cold to work on the bikes philosophy behind the Chinese for longer than 15 to 20 minutes at Yin and Yang; Yin being dark a time. It’s hard to get into a and negative while Yang is project flow when you’re cold and bright and positive. These have to go into the house to warm concepts could also describe up so often. It’s not the 30º what it’s like to live in the temperatures that bother me. I can Midwest during the winter. get work done even when the temps On the upside, in the are down into the 20s. Once two years preceding this one, temperatures descend into the we benefited from mild teens and single digits, I balk. Yes, temperatures, minimal snow, it’s way past time to install that and a significantly longer center stand on the Tiger, fix the riding season. Even this year, new oil leak on the XR, and complete a few other we could ride comfortably and safely into early maintenance items. But it’s not going to happen December. The weather for my last ride on until it’s warmer. These are the Cabin Fever December 3 was sunny with temperatures in the Blues. I wan to work on the bikes but can’t/won’t mid-40s. It looked as if we might be in for another in the frigid cold. Instead of working on the bikes, mild winter. a indoor motorcycle-related activities help That thinking ended four days later on manage the Blues. It’s not riding, but at least it December 7 when it began to snow. The involves motorcycles. temperatures dropped throughout the month to This year, for me, that involves planning the teens, then single digits, and dipped briefly for a dual-sport trip on the Michigan Cross below 0ºF – not including wind chill - and it Country Cycle Trail (MCCCT) sometime later this continued to snow almost daily until early year. Precise timing is undetermined at this point January. (I live in the lake-effect snow zone on because matching up my schedule with that of the west side of Michigan so your weather might my friend Matt’s schedule can be a challenge. Trip have been different.) Then, during the second planning is an excellent mental escape from the week of January, the skies cleared and the winter weather going on outside. temperatures warmed into the 50s for two days – I’ve also re-started my daily physical 59ºF on the second day. Two feet of snow melted away. It looked for a brief time that it might be Continued on page 20 possible to ride before the press date for this issue on January 14. Join us in celebrating That wouldn’t turn out to be the case. The cold and snow returned and we’re right back to winter. It’s snowing with temps in the teens as I write this. This will likely read as a complaint but it’s not. I love the winter. The light, fresh snow on the ground and piled up on branches and trees make for Saturday, February 17, 2018 • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. beautiful scenes. Plus, the dogs are Phil’s 85 years young and still riding. energized to go out to play in the Come join us and meet “Buffalo Phil”. snow. Their energy and apparent He’s one of the legends of excitement transfers to me. It’s motorcycling out of Michigan. Phil perfect weather if you’re a owns the record for the longest snowmobiler or a skier (cross distance traveled in a 6-month period: country or down hill). However, it’s 113,000 miles! He has also run the not perfect weather if you are a Iron Butt competition 3 times and lead motorcyclist. (If you’re reading it twice. Unfortunately, he had an this, I assume you are.) encounter with a Buffalo that took him For many of us who like to out of first on one of these. He has get our hands dirty, winter is the raced in pretty much every category of best time to work on the motorcycling over the years. Stop in motorcycles. Most can’t or are and have some cake with us as we unwilling to ride when there’s snow wish him well. and ice on the roads so we undertake

Phil Mann’s 85th Birthday

motorcycle-related projects: complete some maintenance, add some accessories, or make some repairs. We get it done in the winter so we’re ready to ride when the

BMW-Motus Motorcycles of Grand Rapids 5995 South Division, Grand Rapids, MI (616) 530-6900 • www.bmwmcgr.com 5


Goodbye Midwest Snow and Cold. Hello Baja Sunshine and Warmth! by Gene Southard I have been to Baja Mexico several times and each visit rewards me with a different type of adventure. This time was no different. Every year, I receive an invitation to come and visit from my friend, Larry Sheftel, owner of Baja Trail Rides. This year, I accepted. The trip usually involves working on the tour bikes, doing repair and maintenance around the house and, yes, checking out new off-road trails. One of the main differences on this year’s visit was the way I got to Larry’s place in San Vicente. On past trips, I flew into San Diego and caught a ride with a friend into Mexico and down Highway 1 to San Vicente. Other years, I have driven down from the Midwest, hauling my bike. Another year, I shipped my bike to San Diego and caught a ride into Mexico. This year, in order to avoid the long lines at the border crossing, I walked into Mexico. From the San Diego airport, I caught the airport shuttle to the Otay Messa border

6

crossing and walked across. I was the only one in line! My friend, Armondo, picked me up at the border and took me to his house in Tijuana. From there, Larry and his girlfriend, Andrea, picked me up for the ride to the small town of San Vicente about 80 kilometers south of Ensenada. Although the people of San Vicente are generally quite poor, I very much enjoy visiting with them and experiencing their culture. The average income in this small agricultural community is around $10 US per day but the people are happy and extremely friendly. Our first ride took us southeast of town into the desert. Currently Mexico is experiencing a drought, so the brush was dry although we did find a small water crossing on our 75 mile ride. We also visited with a group of locals who were constructing a block building to be used as a sportman’s club on 750 hectors of land about 30 miles from town.

www.midwestmotorcyclist.com

Our second ride took us into an area that had been badly burned by the many fires that have ravaged the area. Although there are many firefighters in California, Mexico does not have the resources to fight these fires. Also, there are not the expensive homes to protect as in California. We rode for about 40 miles and stopped at a small cafe for a great meal. Next to the people, the food has to be one of my favorite reasons for visiting Mexico. A great meal will cost $2.50 US. After eating real Mexican food, you will have a lower opinion of the Mexican food in the US. Our next ride followed the San Vicente sand wash into the small seaside town of Erendrina. The wash included miles and miles of whoops and berms. My experience riding in the sand of Michigan was great practice for this type of riding. After lunch, we discovered one of the bikes had a rear flat. The repair

Continued on page 15

February 2018


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Midwest Motorcyclist

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ASK Dr. Cycholl Q&A Column For Your Questions Relating to Motorcycle Safety, Riding Techniques and Touring By Maurice “Moe� D. Cycholl

Dear Dr. Cycholl, I have ridden a succession of sport bikes for the last 15 years. I have never really been comfortable enough on any of them to ride for any distance. I am no longer able to tolerate the uncomfortable ergonomics and want to upgrade to a touring motorcycle. I am looking for something on which my wife and I will be comfortable on longer trips. I know you have done a lot of long-distance touring. I would like to hear your recommendation for touring models. I would like something that still performs but is more comfortable. I am open minded as to what I should be looking at and price is not a factor. Tired and Sore Crotch Rocket Jockey Dear Crotch Rocket Jockey, I understand your pain. Sport bikes are essentially designed to be competitive race bikes with no consideration for rider comfort. I find them so uncomfortable as to be unrideable for more than a few minutes. I passed a group of sportbike riders heading to a rally a few years back. They were hunched over, hanging on doing 65 mph in the slow lane. I passed them on my GL1800

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Goldwing, leaning on my backrest, Cruise Control set at 80 mph with my feet on the highway pegswhile listening to the stereo. They caught up with me at the rally. We got talking and one of them said he would like something more comfortable but he liked fast bikes. I offered to race him for $500.00. He laughed and said, “On a Goldwing? I would blow you into the weeds!!� I said, “New York to San Francisco.� He declined the race. Right now is the best time in years to be looking at new touring motorcycles. Almost every manufacturer has models that are all new or recently re-designed. If you like American V-Twins, look at HarleyDavidson and Indian. If you are willing to look at imports, Kawasaki and Yamaha have very nice V-Twin bikes. BMW is offering a very powerful inline 6, and Honda has a totally redesigned GL1800 with a powerful, smooth flat 6 that can be furnished with a conventional six-speed transmission or a seven-speed DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) and even an airbag. The DCT can be manually push-button shifted or can be shifted fully automatically. Only the Honda, Yamaha and the BMW are currently available with reverse. This may sound like overkill if you have never had a big touring bike but no reverse is a deal breaker to me. A touring bike with two people, fully loaded is much easier to handle with reverse. The BMW and the Honda will be the best overall performers in terms of engine performance and handling. All of these can be had as a Bagger, with saddlebags and no trunk or as full Touring models with bags and a trunk. Look at them all, and demo ride as many as you can, but be prepared, you will buy one if you demo them. Expect to pay between $25$31K+. My personal preference would be the new GL1800 Goldwing Tour with a DCT and an Airbag. Make mine two-tone red and black. But that is just me. You may like a different model better. You can’t go wrong with any of them. Write me back after you have made a decision. Thank you, Dr Cycholl

Dear Dr. Cycholl, I am looking to buy a new motorcycle this season. I am considering several makes and models. Where can I demo ride new motorcycles? Dave McCauley, Cincinnati , OH Dear Dave, Thank you for an excellent question. Two of the best places to demo ride are Bike Week in Daytona Beach, Florida in late winter and Americade in Lake George, New York the first full week in June. These events are really good because most of the major manufacturers bring trailers full of demo bikes to both events. Other opportunities exist where single manufacturers trailer in a fleet to your local area – usually in support of a single dealer - but you will only be able to ride their models. If you call local dealers, they may have info on when and where a demo fleet might be available. There may or may not be demo models available at local dealerships on a daily basis, too. Call around. Thank you, Dr Cycholl

Dr. Maurice D. Cycholl is a worldrenowned expert in Motorcycle Safety, Riding Techniques and Touring. In addition, while he is not a recognized expert in motorcycle mechanics, he does possess a fair degree of knowledge in the area of mechanical, and electrical systems found on many motorcycles. He welcomes your questions on these subjects. While you may submit questions on any subject, his advice on other subjects may, or may not be, as reliable. Please submit your questions via email to: askDrCycholl@hotmail.com or via snail mail to: Dr. “Moe� D. Cycholl, c/o CC media, 709 Fall Street, Spring Lake, MI 49456

The Great Lakes Dual Sporters is a like-minded group of offroad motorcyclists who enjoy riding Michigan’s vast two-track trails and back roads. All done using a street legal dirtbike also known as Dual Sport. If you’re looking for fantastic dualsport riding and the company of great friends, join us. Check out our website at www.gldsmc.org to learn about our group, our events and much more. Only $10 to join!

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February 2018


Motorcycling & Law

U.S. Fidelity Insurance v MCCA - Can PIP Settle Without MCCA Approval? by Dondi Vesprini I wanted to write this month about an interesting issue I have encountered recently in a case in which I am representing a catastrophically injured motorcyclist. It is an issue that involves the interplay between an auto insurance company and the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA). As some may know, the MCCA was created by Michigan statute in 1987 to ease the financial burden that an auto insurer may incur regarding the payment of no fault benefits to a catastrophically-injured person. Essentially, when a motorcyclist is injured in an accident involving a motor vehicle, the motor vehicle insurer is responsible to pay the injured motorcyclists medical expenses, home modifications, attendant care, household services, wage loss and medical mileage sustained and related to the accident. In a case where the injury is catastrophic, the medical expenses alone can easily reach hundreds of thousands of dollars. In a case where the auto insurer pays out more than $555,000.00 in such expenses, while the auto insurer remains liable for lifetime medical related expenses, the MCCA is required to reimburse the auto insurer for any such payments made in excess of $555,000.00. In my particular case, I am representing a motorcyclist who lost his leg in a motorcycle accident back in 2009 when a motor vehicle made a left turn in front of him. As one may expect, with this type of injury the auto insurer paid and continues to pay a great deal in medical expenses and prosthetic-related expenses over the last nine years since the accident. In addition to medical care, my client was also in need of modifications to his home to accommodate his injuries and limitations, which is what I was hired to assist with. After months of litigation, including depositions, medical record gathering and obtaining quotes from a builder on the costs related to the necessary home modifications, we reached a point where the auto insurer made a reasonable offer to settle the matter. However, there was one catch. As the amount of the proposed settlement would put the auto insurer over the MCCA threshold so it could claim reimbursement from the MCCA, the auto insurer advised that it needed the MCCA to “approve” the settlement before it could be tendered to my client. Herein lies the issue: Does the MCCA have the right to “approve” payments being offered by an auto insurer before its obligation to reimburse said auto insurer kicks in? After doing some legal research, I found that in 2009 the Michigan Supreme Court took up a consolidated case that answered this very TM

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question. In these cases, an auto insurer was making payments pursuant to a settlement agreement to a man who was catastrophically injured in an auto accident. More specifically, the auto insurer was making attendant-care payments related to personal care that the injured person required. As time went on, the amount paid by the auto insurer exceeded the MCCA threshold number so the MCCA began reimbursing the auto insurer for the attendant-care payments it continued to make. Sometime later, the MCCA refused to continue to reimburse the auto insurers as the MCCA believed that the amounts the auto insurer was paying were unreasonable. Thus, the auto insurer sued the MCCA for the reimbursements. The question the Supreme Court addressed was whether the MCCA was liable for reimbursement to an auto insurer based on what the MCCA deems to be a potentially unreasonable claim. The Supreme Court made it clear that the MCCA must reimburse the auto insurer for 100 percent of the payments made by the auto insurer pursuant to the auto insurer’s agreement with the injured person because the power granted to the MCCA does not encompass adjusting a payment amount agreed to between the auto insurer and the injured person, regardless of the MCCA’s own opinion regarding the reasonableness of the agreement. Interestingly, the Supreme Court’s ruling was with regard to reimbursement to an auto insurer who is paying expenses pursuant to a settlement agreement the auto insurer had already entered into with an injured person. The ruling stated that the MCCA has the right to make internal rules between it and an auto insurer regarding claims that may reasonably be anticipated to cross the MCCA threshold. Under such rules, prior to a settlement being reached, if the MCCA feels the auto insurer is improperly handling a no-fault claim with an injured person the MCCA can seek out another auto insurer to assist in the review of the injured person’s claim and bill the original auto insurer for the costs. As a practical matter, as in my case for the home modifications, it puts the auto insurer in a potential dilemma. It appears the law is clear that the auto insurer alone has the discretion to decide the reasonableness of the injured person’s claim and alone has the power to enter into settlements with the injured person. It is equally apparent under the law that if an auto insurer does enter into such settlement, it is entitled to complete reimbursement from the MCCA regardless of whether the MCCA deems the settlement

reasonable or not. However, I am finding that despite the law being on their side, many auto insurers are gun shy on entering into settlements without getting the MCCA’s “approval”. This may be because while the law is clear that the auto insurer is entitled to full reimbursement from the MCCA once it settles, auto insurers are dealing with the MCCA constantly on a number of catastrophic claims and they may not want to rock the boat on their ongoing working relationship with the MCCA by settling claims without getting the MCCA’s stamp of approval. In this type of a situation, it can be frustrating for an injured claimant because in this situation, the settlement needs to be approved now by two entities (auto insurer and MCCA) as opposed to just one (auto insurer). This can lead to great delays in effectuating settlements and in some cases lead to otherwise unnecessary jury trials in situations where while the injured person and auto insurer may agree on a reasonable settlement number, the MCCA may not agree the settlement is reasonable. As always, if anyone has any questions or if I can be of legal assistance to you or anyone you know dealing with this issue or who has been injured in a motorcycle accident, please don’t hesitate to contact me as I deal with these types of claims on a daily basis on behalf of injured motorcyclists statewide. Further, for those readers who are members of any motorcycle organizations, clubs or groups, if you would like to have me come out to your group to speak or give a presentation on the legal rights of an injured motorcyclist or on any specific topic that your group may be curious about, please don’t hesitate to give me a call at (248-569-4646) or shoot me an e-mail at Dondi@buckfirelaw.com. I give presentations state-wide and there is never a charge associated with having me out. I enjoy having the opportunity to come out and meet motorcycle enthusiasts from all parts of our State!

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The 27th Annual Indiana Motorcycle Expo Rolls into Town February 16th – 18th By Dan Forst For the past 26 years, the Indiana Motorcycle Expo has been a must-see for all Midwest motorcycle lovers. It’s back bigger and better than ever for its 27 th year and takes place during the first weekend, February 16-18, of the Ford 64 rd Annual Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show, February 16-25. All events are held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1202 E. 38 th Street in Indianapolis. The Expo brings together enthusiasts, manufacturers, major dealers and bikerelated exhibitors from across the country showcasing the very latest motorcycles and a full array of related motorcycle lifestyle products and services. This amazing gathering of exhibitors features the latest in motorcycle accessories, biker apparel, custom paint and fabrication, lifestyle services, new and used motorcycles and more. Biker enthusiasts will find the major industry names like Can-Am, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Indian, Kawasaki, KTM, Star, Suzuki, Slingshot, Victory, and Yamaha all under one roof! This year’s expo also features a

variety of cruiser bike categories in the Biker’s Showcase, sponsored by Ride Safe Indiana and Abate of Indiana’s Tiny Tots Riding Experience. By popular demand, the 27 th Annual Indiana Motorcycle Expo welcomes the return of the Pioneers of Hoosier Motorcycling, a historical exhibit and interactive panel discussion featuring the bikes and personalities from Indiana’s significant motorcycling past. Attendees will be able to listen to and interact with pioneers like Rex and Dotty Bridgeford from Shelbyville, Ind. Rex and Dotty started riding in the 1950s, owned their own HarleyDavidson We stock: dealership and have taken their bikes to over 38 states. In fact, Dotty became a member of the Motor Maids, Inc. in 1967, a national deal won’t last long! women’s riding club We have the full line of formed in 1940, and has ® 2018 Harley-Davidson many a tale to tell! motorcycles - including the new Fat Bob ® 114 Among the other in stock and available pioneers will be Rick for immediate delivery. Moore who started his It’s cold and snowy now but spring is right around the corner. The professional racing 2018 models have been selling fast. Don’t career in the 1950s in miss your chance to own your dream bike. Stop by our store today to find the Harley® the Junior ranks. He of your dreams. went on to be one of the most accomplished racers ® Hamilton Harley-Davidson in the Midwest, and his 68951 White School Road (US-12) stories of traveling the Sturgis, MI motorcycle racing circuits throughout his 269.651.3424 long career will paint a www.hamiltonharley-davidson.com

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nostalgic and revealing montage of the “golden years” of motorcycle racing. New this year will be a unique and outstanding exhibit titled “From Barn Finds to Forgotten Treasures” by Jeff Leveridge of Leveridge Motorcycle Salvage. For over 30 years, Leveridge has searched the forgotten barns, warehouses, and abandoned homes of the Midwest in search of long-lost motorcycles and parts. At the show, Jeff will be constructing an actual barn setting to showcase some of the most rare and unbelievable bikes he’s found during his searches. “Mine is a hobby that simply got out of control,” said Leveridge. “But some of my finds are beyond belief.” One “find” attendees will see is a “Balkan” brand motorcycle that was made in Bulgaria. In 1966, the company tried to open a showroom in Detroit, but because the bikes had the Communist Star on their wheels, the government shut down its sales.

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“Some years, ago, I found this bike in an old warehouse in the Detroit area,” Leveridge said. “It’s one of only a few left in the world, it has only four miles on it, and it runs great. It’s a perfect example of what we’ll be showing people at the show.” Tickets are $14 at the box office and advance sale discount tickets are available for $12.00 at Indysportshow.com. Tickets to the 27th Annual Indiana Motorcycle Expo also includes admission to the Ford 64th Annual Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show. Show hours for both shows are: Friday, February 16: 1 - 9 p.m. Saturday, February 17: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sunday, February 18: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

February 2018


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February 2018


The University of Gravel Roads Global Lessons From a 4-year Motorcycle Adventure Book by Rene Cormier Have you ever been out of gas on the side of the road thinking, ‘What I’m I going to do now?’ I think we’ve all been there at one time or another. Now consider the possibility of breaking down in South America or the middle of Africa. There’s no calling a friend or a wrecker. You’re all on your own. Traveling by motorcycle around the world has always been a lofty goal. There have been a number of people who have made the trip and many more have attempted it. You’ve probably seen or heard about The Long Way Around with Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman. It’s a good story but they had chase vehicles and a camera crew. Even our friends Simon and Lisa Thomas, 2RidetheWorld, had each other and a pretty healthy budget to start out. Their story is a pretty spectacular one in itself (traveling the world on motorcycles since 2003). Rene Cormier set off on a trip around the world in 2003 on a very limited budget of $25 a day. This book documents his adventurers ,trials, and tribulations along the way. Cormier traveled over 95,000 miles through North, Central and South America, Africa, the Middle East, Russia and Mongolia. He documents his travels in this book with a unique personal flair. Rene’s very limited budget had to cover all his food, lodging and any repairs that he had to make on the bike. The lack of money actually benefited him and gave him much more contact with the locals. Rene even crashed a Mexican wedding party and was treated like one of the family. He never had any problems with “Banditos” or drug cartels along the way. He never had anything

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roast. The first night he met his wife-to-be, she kept telling him everything happens for a reason. He was in total disagreement. What a start to a love affair! What’s meant to be is meant to be. Rene attended some great festivals,too. This includes Swaziland King Mswati III’s Umhlanga festival where there are 10,000 dancing virgins and the King has to choose one for his 15th bride. It’s tough being a King. The people along the way always seemed to have time to chat and welcome the stranger to their culture. Rene Cormier will be coming to BMW Motorcycles of Grand Rapids on February 13th from 7 to 9 pm. We will be having hors d’oeuvres and refreshments from 6pm on. All are welcome no matter what brand you ride. Please call and RSVP due to limited seating.

stolen until he shipped his motorcycle from Nairobi to Cape Town. One of the handlers decided he or she needed his guitar worse than him. It had traveled through dozens of impoverished countries with just two unsecured bungy cords holding it on before that. He started the trip with a Canadian girlfriend (Amy) traveling with him on her own BMW-Motus BMW F650GS. He and Amy traveled through the Andes in Motorcycles South America with elevations over 15,000 feet. The book of includes some wonderful Grand Rapids pictures. The California Superbike School best part of the at Barber Motorsports Park, journey are the Birmingham, Alabama people he met along the way. 5995 S. Division May 26-27, 2018 From Peruvians Grand Rapids, MI The cost is $540 with your own bike and offering him a $740 with their S1000RR for the 26th for a place to stay or Single Day School. The 27th is a Super Single inviting him on Day school which runs $680 with your bike a ride to and $875 with their S1000RR. Caranava del (616) 530-6900 California Superbike School Che, a memorial ride to the small 2-Day Camp at Laguna Seca village where Monterey, California Che Guevara, www.bmwmcgr.com June 26-27, 2018 the Argentine Marxist revolutionary, was executed in 1967. The price is $2750 and can only be done with their S1000RRs. The Laguna Seca schools usually fill up Amy and Rene traveled in the first couple of months after the schedule is Bolivia’s “Death Road”. The road released, so don’t dilly dally around on this one. descends 15,000 feet, with sheer This is one for the bucket list for sure with it’s drop offs with an average of 300 3-story corkscrew drop! deaths a year due to the dangerous Sign up on line and put BMW Motorcycles of Grand Rapids conditions. down as a friend or call Ginny at 800-530-3350 and tell her Amy ended up going you’re with the BMW M/C of GR group. If we get 10 or home and Rene ended up more riders per class, you will get a 10% reimbursement after the school. Go to superbikeschool.com to find the marrying a South African descriptions of the Single Day School, the Super Single (Colette) that he met at a pig

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Motorcycle Solutions Expands Offering TOLEDO, OH – Motorcycle Solutions LLC celebrated its tenth year in business in 2017, and they continue to grow. After moving to a larger location, owners John and Lisa Strawbridge have just become a dealer of used motorcycles, dirt bikes and ATVs. John explains the need for it in our community. “We’re going to focus on vehicles that are a bit older and less expensive – the kind you often find on Craigslist. Ours will be looked over by experienced mechanics, so customers know they’re getting the best vehicle for the money.”

Upcoming Events Bus Trip to the

International Motorcycle Show in Cleveland Saturday, January 27, 2018 Only $60 per person includes bus ride to and from the show, show admission, and a sandwich with refreshment on the return trip. Call now. Space limited.

Saturday Seminars

This is a great new resource for people buying a first bike, looking for a commuter bike or those without a lot of money to spend. John has been growing the inventory over the winter to be ready when the warm weather arrives. At the time of publication, he had:

January 13 thru February 24, 2018 (except 1/27/17, bus tour) 2/03/18 - BMWSEM-sponsored racer, John Fitz 2/10/18 - Attorney Dondi Vesprini 2/17/18 - Michelin Tire Seminar 2/24/18 - BMW Aftermarket Sales Manager, Jack DelPizzo Check our web site and Facebook page for details about these popular events.

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February 2018


Continued from page 6 - Baja

involved installing a new tube that we always carry. That night we travelled by four-wheel-drive truck to Coyote Cal’s resort. This resort is legendary in the Baja area with dirt bikers and surfers. Over a meal of lobster, the owner of Coyote Cal’s, Rick, told us how his dad started the hostel and restaurant. Overnight, there were some strong winds and we spent the next day repairing a damaged fence after a tree blew down in Larry’s yard. The last ride of the trip included miles and miles of riding along the deserted beach just west of San Vicente. There is no development along this beach like you would see around Ensenada. The fabulous scenery made it impossible to take a bad photo as the waves crashed into the rocky shoreline. The return trip home was just as different as the trip into Mexico. After Larry and Andrea dropped me off in Tijuana, Armondo and I rose at 1 a.m. and drove across the border into San Diego. The wait to cross at that time of day was 15 minutes versus 4 hours during the day. This border crossing is the busiest in the world. To enjoy your visit to rural Mexico, sometimes you have to look past the poverty and poor infrastructure and the rewards will include friendly people, beautiful scenery, great weather and miles and miles of trail riding.

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Harley-Davidson Flat Track The State of the Motorcycle Industry by Ray Peabody Contingency Jumps for 2018 After a disappointing 2017 professional flat track season, Harley-Davidson is making a big investment in their racers for 2018. The Motor Company has dominated the top class in professional flat track for years, but Indian Motorcycles spent a lot in the development of the race bike and hiring three of the top professional racers – Jared Mees, Bryan Smith, and Brad Baker – for the 2017 season. That investment paid off as Mees. Smith and Baker finished the season 1-23, respectively. Harley-Davidson is putting up $562,500 in contingency money for privateer riders running either the XR750 or XG750R in the American Flat Track (AFT) Twins class for the 2018 18-race season. (XG750R riders are required to run the Harley-Davidson factory bodywork to be eligible.) The amount of money racers can earn is determined by where they finish in the top ten. The higher the finish, the more they earn. $31,250 are available at each of the 18 races. First place Harley riders earn $10,000, second place gets $8,000, third earns $6,000, $2,000 for fourth, $1,500 for fifth, $1,250 for sixth, $1,000 for seventh, $750 for eighth, $500 for ninth, and $250 for a tenth-place finish. By comparison, Indian is offering $333,000 to privateer FTR750 racers, Kawasaki put up $270,000 for Ninja 650 racers, and Yamaha has $153,000 on the table for MT-07 and FZ-07 competitors. Winning in the AFT Twins series is a big deal for HarleyDavidson. Since they gave up on their superbike racing efforts, flat track is the one of the only types of racing in which the company still participates. They have dominated the class for so long, Indian’s results in 2017 might have come as a bit of a surprise. Unfortunately, the XR750 is getting long in the tooth. They’re still fast but breakdowns have prevented better finishes. The XG750R seems unready for prime time and still needs work to become a winning race bike. This new money will encourage racers to ride Harleys, which will give the Motor Company more racers tuning, testing, and, with luck, improving their motorcycles. Considering how fast the FTR750 is, they have lots of work to do.

Much has been written recently about the decline of new motorcycle sales. Like most aspects of the economy, it’s not unusual for motorcycle sales to fluctuate. Economies are cyclical; they’re in a continuous cycle of rising and falling. In the motorcycle industry, total annual unit sales have been falling consistently – except for a bump upward in 2014 – since 1,124,000 units were sold in 2007. Unit sales for most manufacturers are down - to 487,114 units industry-wide in 2016 - and many industry insiders are looking for the causes of this decline and developing steps that can be taken to halt the sales slide. The primary reason most are concerned is the fact that as motorcyclists age and stop riding, fewer new riders are replacing them. In an effort to understand the weaknesses in the market and develop an action plan to reverse this sales trend, Robert Pandya, a long-time motorcyclist and a former marketing / communications executive with Polaris / Indian, organized the Give a Shift – The Future of Motorcycling round table. Participants in the round table include industry experts whose names are recognizable to many motorcycle enthusiasts: Marc Cook, Kent Kunitsugu, Guido Ebert, Christa Neuhauser, Alisa Clickenger, Steve Piehl, Brian Klock, and Eric Putter among others. Focus points to be discussed by the round table included (summarized from the Give a Shift report. We’ll offer our thoughts after the summary.):

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1. Products won’t address a general desirability problem. Excellent products are available in every segment but there is a general lack of interest in riding, especially among younger people. Distracted driving, on-road safety fears, and still fiscally compressed middle class Gen Xers and Boomers are impediments keeping targeted riders out of the market. Millenials see ownership as a burden plus they have redefined group participation to include online activities. 2. Motorcycles can get eliminated in an autonomous vehicle future. The panel feels strongly that the single biggest threat to motorcycling overall (particularly in urban and higher density environments) will be the incompatibility between autonomous vehicles and motorcycles.

3. Mothers and female ridership increase is critical, but real action is needed. : Michigan Sport Touring Riders If Mom rides, the kids will ride. The

For information about membership, meetings, events, or rides, contact Augie Fernandes at Membership@MSTRiders.com or Info@MSTRiders.com www.MSTRiders.com • On

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challenge is that females seem to be more interested in three-wheeled options that eliminate the possibility of tip overs. Example: High female ridership of Can Am Spyders.

4. Motorcyclists and industry must relentlessly promote to survive. Every motorcyclist must become an ambassador for motorcycles. Speaking up when riders are unsafe or acting out in a way that reflects poorly on all other motorcyclists. 5. Improvements in the dealership experience are desperately needed. With these five items as an agenda, the panel discussed each and, after discussion, developed an action plan. To review the complete report and the action plan, go to www.aimag.com/ and search for Give a Shift. Limited space prevents us from publishing the entire action plan. Our thoughts Having been riding motorcycles for more 45 years and operating a business in the industry for 20, I agree that the problem of declining sales is an important challenge to the future of the industry. Yes, the selection, quality and performance of modern motorcycles are impressive. As the panel mentioned, products aren’t the problem. The problem is understanding why younger people, women, and minorities seem uninterested in riding. (This assertion of a lack of interest among certain groups is obviously a generalized statement. People in each of these groups do ride but not in numbers sufficient enough to support the industry.) The solution is to get them riding. It’s difficult to judge whether the panel’s action steps can be effective without testing them. If the industry can’t find a way to get more people buying and riding motorcycles, the industry will shrink, with fewer manufacturers and choices, not to mention a significant loss of jobs. When considering this issue, I think back to my start in motorcycling. It was summertime in the late 60s. A bunch of us kids were hanging out when the older brother of my friend rode up on a Triumph chopper. I don’t remember the details of the bike but I remember that we were mesmerized. It was the closest I had ever been to a motorcycle. No one in my immediate and extended family rode. Not long after seeing the

Continued on page 20

February 2018


Are Motorcyclists Safer Than Car Drivers? by Jason Waechter, Esq. and feel of movement. They also have more distractions like kids, the radio, passengers, and cell phones to deal with. Distracted driving is a sadly prevalent trend that’s growing and making our roads increasingly unsafe. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that distracted driving claimed 3,477 lives in 2015 and caused injuries to 391,000 people. Because we use both hands to ride and are constantly scanning our entire field of view, motorcyclists are better able to focus on the road, be aware of their surroundings, and not operate distracting devices.

I believe in the proposition that motorcyclists are safer than car drivers on the road. Three factors all contribute to a motorcyclists’ increased safety on the road. They are evasive maneuvering, attention, and field of view.

Evasive Maneuvering Because a motorcycle is smaller and lighter than a car, it has more options for moving around within a lane and across a road. If a large truck pulls in front of a car, the driver has no choice but to simply follow the truck blindly. However, if a truck pulls in front of a motorcyclist, he can easily maneuver to the left or right side of his lane to see around the truck. In terms of stopping and accelerating to avoid danger, motorcycles win here, too. If necessary, a motorcyclist can accelerate to leave danger behind, which is an acceptable evasive maneuver.

Field of View

A motorcyclist has an uninterrupted field of view, which translates into better preparedness in the event of an emergency. Turning your head to the right or to the left will show you all you need to see. Car drivers don’t have that benefit. They have blind spots that they have to keep in mind and obstructed views limited by the car body. Attention Another factor that increases a motorcyclists’ field of view is the fact that Motorcyclists are much less likely to be distracted than car drivers are. When you’re on many motorcyclists often sit higher than car a motorcycle, you’re more connected to the world around you. There’s no car body to shield drivers. Sitting higher means that they can see you from the wind or the elements. There are further down the road few “outside” distractions that pertain to and make plans to motorcyclists. For example, we aren’t on our avoid any dangers that cell phones texting or checking Facebook. come up. Car drivers, on the other hand, are encased in their vehicles, cut off from the noise

Safer Roads for All Evasive ability, attention, and field of view are all important factors in supporting the argument that motorcyclists are often safer than car drivers. So the next time someone tells you that a motorcycle isn’t as safe as a car, you can engage in a friendly debate with them on the subject and perhaps change their thoughts on the subject. It’s also important to continue to educate our fellow drivers of cars, trucks, and vans on road safety. The more aware our fellow drivers are of the dangers of distracted driving and their limited views, the safer we can keep our roads. Attorney Jason A. Waechter is a national attorney specializing in the areas of motorcycle and motor vehicle injury litigation. Mr. Waechter has collected millions of dollars in settlements, awards and verdicts for his motorcycle clients over the past 20 years. Jason feels a duty to give back to his community. A portion of each case settled goes to educational resources for bikers, funds to help bikers while their cases are being litigated and our motorcycle accident prevention campaign. Call Attorney Jason Waechter toll free at 1-877BIKER LAW. Or visit www.TheMotorcycleLawyer.com Legal disclaimer: The law is very fact dependent and there are many nuances and exceptions depending on your particular circumstances. Therefore, given the limited space, it is impossible to cover everything. Do not rely on the short article to protect your rights.

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Cruz Tools Road Tech H-3 Kit for Harley-Davidson Motorcycles By Gene Southard “I didn’t buy this bike to work on it!” my customer said after I told him of the work needed to keep it running. My reply was “You sound like a guy who will be walking soon.” Even the newest motorcycle will need some work eventually. So including a few tools on your ride is only a good idea. When Dan Parks, President of Cruz tools, offered me one of his tool kits for a product review, I took him up on the offer. Cruz Tools offers tools in many different configurations designed for use on street and dirt machines. They even offer tool kits for musicians and airplane pilots. I was given one of their Road Tech H-3 kits for Harley Davidson. This kit includes tools to do any small repair or adjustment. The tools are made of excellent materials, offer high quality, and are guaranteed for life. Because each machine has special tool requirements, Dan has spent some time choosing what tools to include in each kit. The H-3 kit was designed with Harley in mind. The Road Tech H-3 kit includes 3/8, 7/16, 1/2

and 10mm combination wrenches. A socket set including 3/8, 7/16, 1/2 and 10mm sockets with a mini ratchet and 2" extension. New bikes have started using hex key

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motorcycles use different size spark plugs, the size that fits late model Harleys, 5/8-16mm has been included along with a plug gapper. No kit of this quality would be complete with out a 6-in-1 screwdriver. Checking tire pressures has to be one of the most overlooked maintenance items so a pencil type tire gauge is included in this kit — a dial gauge would be more accurate but that would increase the size and cost of this kit. How could you repair a Harley without an adjustable wrench and locking pliers? These are placed in their own pockets in this kit. Consumables have not been overlooked. These are things that are used to repair your machine and need to be occasionally replaced. They are the electrical tie wraps, electrical tape, thread locker and the all-important multi-purpose mechanics wire. The H-3 kit is housed in a 3.5" x 9.5" roll and weighs in at 3.5 pounds and is probably the most important thing you will carry on your bike. So if you don’t want to walk home because you didn’t have a 1/2" boxed end, you should consider including a tool kit on your next ride. The Road Tech H-3 retails for $109.95 and can be purchased at your local dealer or www.cruztools.com.

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19


continued from page 16 - State of Triumph, my friend bought a mini-bike, powered by a Briggs & Stratton 5-horsepower lawnmower engine. The first time I rode it, I was hooked. I bugged my parents for a mini-bike, ultimately persuading them to buy me a Sears mini with a 3.5 horsepower Tecumseh and ape-hanger handlebars. I would pay them back from my lawn mowing and leaf raking earnings. My parents didn’t have the extra money to buy us motorcycles but a short term loan was doable. Other kids in the neighborhood were getting minis during that time. When a friend got a Honda Trail 50, I upgraded to a Suzuki Trail Hopper. (I was building a customer base and making more money.) When another friend bought a Trail 90, I moved up to a used Kawasaki 90. That’s the way it worked; we all moved up to bigger models together. We were a selfreinforcing group of riding enthusiasts. My last bike before I entered the service was a used Suzuki TM-250 motocrosser. My mechanical skills were developed as I worked to keep those bikes maintained and running. I never paid more than $400 for any of those early bikes. We lived out in the country before everyone started fencing off their land; we could ride anywhere. Had any of those factors been different – friends not riding, no money for bikes, repairs or gas, or not living out in the country – it’s possible I might not be riding today. Of course, people come to riding in a variety of ways, but an early start, at least for me, was important. I think that might be

part of the reason young people aren’t riding today. Parents seem to be much more protective of their kids today. Yes, my parents were worried that we might get hurt. However, they weren’t so worried that they prevented us from doing what other parents were allowing their kids to do. Another factor, beaten to death by almost anyone who has considered the causes of the decline in motorcycle sales, might be the computer and smart phone. People, not just young people, are on their phones most of the time. Their lives are on their phones. That’s where their friends are. Rather than actually do something, many seem to live vicariously through what other people report themselves to be doing on Facebook. With all of that interesting stuff happening online, who has time or the interest to ride motorcycles. Getting people off their phones and computers and onto motorcycles, inherently more dangerous, albeit more stimulating and fun, is going to be incredibly challenging. Harley-Davidson is an example of a motorcycle company that took a unique approach to solving the declining sales problem. You might have read this story since it was reported in national news sources. In June, H-D went to Ryder, North Dakota (population 85) to teach every interested, licensed resident aged 16 and above how to ride a motorcycle. According to Ryder Mayor Jody Reinisch, 70% of the town’s eligible residents completed the riding lessons and 15% to 20% purchased a Harley. These results, if accurate, are impressive. But this effort might be difficult to scale up and reproduce in larger communities. Some version of this program might be the solution the industry is seeking. The truth is that I don’t know what the solution to the declining interest in motorcycles might be. The decline might simply be part of a larger cycle. A similar decline in sales happened in the late 80s and early 90s. Sales recovered. For me, it was easy to get started riding when we were fearless kids. Once a person gets older with significant responsibilities, the risk seems much greater. Congratulations and thanks to Robert Pandya and the panel for analyzing the problem and developing a plan of action rather than simply continuing to talk about it. We’ll see whether the plan they developed actually gets support from the industry.

Continued from page 5 - Cabin fever Blues training program. Training has always been part of my lifestyle but sometimes my effort lags. If you workout, you will be familiar with this scenario. When you begin exercising again after a break, the muscles don’t work like they did when the exercise was routine. They’re weaker and painful afterwards. Unfortunately, it’s a lesson I’ve learned multiple times. If you’re wondering why I would mention exercise in a motorcycle magazine, the reason is simple. I’m not getting any younger, the motorcycles are getting heavier, and riding – especially on the street – requires more focus and attention than ever. The plan is to ride for many more years and, to do that, I’ll have to be physically strong and mentally sharp. Exercise accomplishes both of those

20

ends. That’s why it’s part of this article. Plus, exercise helps reduce the Cabin Fever Blues. Finally, but importantly, staying engaged with motorcycling through books, video, and meetups with other enthusiasts helps keep the Blues at bay. Becoming isolated during the cold, snowy winters is the easiest thing to do. What’s harder is making the effort to stay engaged and making an effort to stimulate the mind and get out of the house. It’s worth the effort. These are just a couple thoughts about beating the Blues this winter. You probably do some of these same things to stay engaged and energized. Winter doesn’t have to be the worst of times – the Yin - for motorcyclists. Instead, winter can be a time of preparation and renewal. And if it’s warm enough, it can be a time to get some work done on the motorcycles!

www.midwestmotorcyclist.com

Events Events do change. Please call ahead

Michigan January 28 38th Lansing Motorcycle Swap Meet Lansing Center 333 Michigan Ave., Lansing, MI $6 / person 12 and under free www.hugeswapmeet.com February 2-4 2018 AMA Ice Race Grand Championship Mitchell State Park 6093 E. M-115 Cadillac MI http:// www.americanmotorcyclist.com/ racing/ice-racing February 25 Detroit Area Motorcycle Swap Meet Suburban Showcase Collection 46100 Grand River Aven., Novi, MI $8 / person; 12 and under free www.hugeswapmeet.com Illinois February 9-11 Progressive International Motorcycle Show Donald E. Stephens Convention Center Chicago, IL Adults: $18 / person; Kids under 11 free www.motorcycleshows.com/city/ chicago-il-0 Indiana February 16-18 Indiana Motorcycle Expo Indian State Fairgrounds 1202 E. 38th Street Indianpolis, IN $14 – Adults $12 – Seniors (60+) $8 – Children (6 – 12) FREE – Children (5 & under) 2 Day Tickets: $22 Ohio January 26-28 Progressive International Motorcycle Show I-X Center Cleveland, Ohio Adults: $16 / person Kids under 11 free www.motorcycleshows.com/city/ cleveland-oh February 10-11 2018 Easyriders Bike Show Tour Greater Columbus Convention Center 400 N. High Street Columbus, Ohio www.easyridersevents.com/ bikeshow-2018-columbus.php

February 2018


Michigan

The Preacher Speaks About...

An Old Friend

Harley-Davidson

by Franz “The Preacher” Hoffer I was at Wolverine HarleyDavidson, just hanging out one afternoon this January. After all, what’s a motorcycle maniac to do in Michigan when we hit one of those January cold snaps when the low temps hover round -20 below and the high temps barely make it to the teens? So anyway, I was checking out what was left of the 2017 models and inspecting the 2018 offerings when up walks this guy. He calls me by my name. Oh my gosh, it’s Chuck Bell. Chuck, who you may recall, used to own Leather Works out in Washington, MI. His mom, Cher, started the Rebel Girl line of female riding apparel. What a pleasant surprise. I had not seen Chuck for at least a couple of years. He is one interesting person and I decided to share his story with all of you. Enjoy the interview. The Preacher (TP): Hey Chuck, so how old are you? Were you born and raised in the Detroit area? Chuck Bell (CB): I am 33 years old and was born and raised in Macomb County. I have a beautiful fiancé of 6 years named Melanie – she just learned to ride a couple years ago – and we have a 9 month old son, Wilder. We just got him his first motorcycle; a toy, of course.

TP: When did you start riding and what was your first ride? Why do you prefer Harley-Davidson over other brands? CB: I started riding when I was 18 years old. My Mom taught me how to ride when we were opening up Leather Works. My first ride was 1996 Harley 883 Hugger, which believe it or not, I was just able to purchase back so Wilders first motorcycle will be the same one that my brother, sister, Melanie and I all learned on. But my main ride for the last 15 years is a 2003 Anniversary Edition Fatboy. That’s my TM

Midwest Motorcyclist

baby. Working here in sales at Wolverine H-D, I get the really cool luxury of riding a new H-D demo every year. I prefer HarleyDavidson because of the camaraderie between family and friends. I lost my Dad to cancer when I was 18 and I found guidance and companionship in my customers, friends, and family. I gained a lot of wisdom from the men and women who came into Leather Works. They were always willing to talk, teach, and help. My Dad never rode, but my Mom did. My Dad was a businessman who owned Bell Forklift. My love of riding I really owe to my Mom. The best part of riding is grabbing a group of friends and spending the day riding together on the open road.

Dealer Events

For a complete list of Michigan Harley-Davidson Dealer Association Members, see the dealer locator on page 19.

January 27 Fiesta BCHD No time for siesta; it’s time to fiesta! Tacos, nachos, cervezas, and more! Battle Creek Harley-Davidson 5738 Beckley Road Battle Creek, MI (269) 979-2233

January 27-28 Luau Weekend TP: What is the history behind Games & Prizes, Pig roast, Leather Works? A lot of people still remember it well and miss it. Slushies, Photo station CB: As I said, my family and friends Grand Rapids Harleyhave been a big part of my life. Davidson Losing my Dad was a very tough 2977 Corporate Grove Drive time for me but I always wanted to Hudsonville, MI be like him. My Mom owned a flower shop in Washington, (877) 596-6387

Michigan, and one day we thought it would be good for our family to do something together. There was a two bay garage attached to my Mom’s shop, so we installed windows where the garage doors were and put an entrance door between them. For years we attended motorcycle events all across Michigan and hosted Bike Nights. News of the small family-owned business spread like wildfire. We grew so big that we purchased the property next door and for 10 years created one of the most amazing family-owned motorcycle shops in all of Michigan. At one point, we hosted four bike nights a week and participated in at least 100 shows or events a year while keeping the store open seven days a week. We always hosted at least one charity ride a month. Typically, we’d have

Continued on page 22

February 3 Souperbowl Chili/Soup Cook-Off $5 donation to MDA to sample Battle Creek Harley-Davidson 5738 Beckley Road Battle Creek, MI (269) 979-2233

February 10 Free Flowers In honor of Valentines Day, ABC Harley-Davidson is giving out free flowers to all ladies ABC Harley-Davidson 4405 Highland Road (M-59) Waterford, MI 248.674.3175

February 10 Chili Cook-Off at the Eagle Hall

S. Wisconsin Ave., Gaylord, MI Zips 45th Parallel Harley-Davidson 980 S. Wisconsin Avenue Gaylord, MI (989) 732-8000

February 13 Free Paczkis Celebrate Fat Tuesday with ABC Harley-Davidson and enjoy a free pacski! Available until gone. ABC Harley-Davidson 4405 Highland Road (M-59) Waterford, MI 248.674.3175

February 24 Olympic Saturday Celebrate Team USA, Enjoy hot dogs, apple pie, & other American classics Battle Creek Harley-Davidson 5738 Beckley Road Battle Creek, MI (269) 979-2233

March 3 Soup Cook-Off Capitol Harley-Davidson 9550 Woodlane Dr. Dimondale, MI 517.646.2345

March 10 Movie Day between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Please RSVP, space is limited. Gildner’s Harley-Davidson 2723 South M 76 West Branch, MI (989) 345-1330 21


Continued from previous page 250 or more enthusiasts attending the rides so I’m very proud of the fact that we were able to give so much back to the community. When given the opportunity to succeed, you need to give back. TP: How long was Leather Works in business? Why did you close it down? CB: Well, we had every quality riding accessory imaginable in stock. Customer service was always our highest priority. We had a seamstress on site seven days a week. Since I lived right behind the Leather Works, it was more of a lifestyle than a job. After a while, my brother went away to college and my sister starting working for Harley-Davidson while my Mom started her Rebel Girl apparel. My sister would tell me how much she loved working for Harley-Davidson and I guess I had always wondered what it would be like selling Harley-Davidson motorcycles so I took the plunge. I now get to work only a few feet away from my sister at Wolverine Harley-Davidson. She has become one of the top parts sales people in Michigan. Before making the decision to work at Wolverine, I talked to the other Harley dealers as well and the one that impressed me the most was George DeLaNuez here at Wolverine. I somehow knew it was time to close the Leather Works chapter of my life and move to something else. I’ve now been at Wolverine for five years and it has exceeded my expectations. I feel like the biker version of my Dad. I am humbled and proud to say that I am now the top selling Harley-Davidson sales person in the United States, which I could not have achieved without Wolverine, one of the top H-D dealerships worldwide.

Michigan Harley-Davidson Dealer Association Members 1. Battle Creek

12. Muskegon

BATTLE CREEK HARLEY-DAVIDSON® 5738 BECKLEY RD, BATTLE CREEK (269) 979-2233, www.battlecreekharley.com

HOT ROD HARLEY-DAVIDSON® 149 SHORELINE DRIVE, MUSKEGON (231) 722-3653, www.hotrodhd.com

2. Bay City

13. Sturgis

GREAT LAKES HARLEY-DAVIDSON® 3850 S. HURON ROAD, BAY CITY (989) 686-0400, www.greatlakeshd.com

HAMILTON HARLEY-DAVIDSON® 68951 WHITE SCHOOL ROAD, STURGIS (616) 651-3424, www.hamiltonharley-davidson.com

3. Birch Run

14. Tecumseh

SHIAWASSEE HARLEY-DAVIDSON® 11901 N. BEYER ROAD, BIRCH RUN (989) 624-4400 www.shiawasseeharley-davidson.com

TECUMSEH HARLEY-DAVIDSON® 8080 MATTHEWS HIGHWAY, TECUMSEH (517) 423-3333

4. Cement City

15. Traverse City

TOWN & COUNTRY HARLEY-DAVIDSON® US 12 & US 127, CEMENT CITY (517) 547-3333, www.cementcity-harley.com

CLASSIC MOTOR SPORTS HARLEY-DAVIDSON® 3939 S BLUE STAR DRIVE, TRAVERSE CITY (231) 943-9344, www.classictc.com

5. Fremont

16. Waterford

SANDY’S HARLEY-DAVIDSON® SPORT CENTER 11940 N. MAPLE ISLAND RD, FREMONT (231) 924-3020 www.sandysharley-davidson.com

A.B.C. HARLEY-DAVIDSON® 4405 HIGHLAND RD (M-59), WATERFORD (248) 674-3175 www.abc-harley-davidson.com

6. Gaylord

17. West Branch

ZIP’S 45TH PARALLEL HARLEY-DAVIDSON® 980 S WISCONSIN AVE., GAYLORD (989) 732-8000, www.zips45thhd.com

GILDNER’S HARLEY-DAVIDSON® MOTORCYCLES 2723 S M-76, WEST BRANCH (989) 345-1330, www.gildnershd.com

7. Hudsonville GRAND RAPIDS HARLEY-DAVIDSON® 2977 CORPORATE GROVE DR., HUDSONVILLE (616) 896-0111, www.grandrapidsharley.com TP: How different is it working for someone vs working for yourself? CB: I feel that being a former business owner, I set my expectations higher because I know what I expected from my employees. I know what I want and I work at it every day. I believe that’s the key to my success, consistent grinding and pushing myself and never giving up. You know, I really want to go back a bit and stress how important my family, friends, and customers were in my life. I looked up to all of them. I can’t tell you how much I looked up to my Mom. I admired the strength she has being a woman in the world of business. An amazing person that I have learned so much from. My Dad was one of the greatest men in my entire life. I do many things in my life because of him and I hope he is looking down on me and saying, “Good job, son”. TP: I have no doubt he is, Chuck. Thanks for your time. I sincerely enjoyed the interview. Folks...do yourself a favor and come on out to Wolverine Harley-Davidson and meet this incredible young man for yourself. Hey....only about 8 weeks to Spring...

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6

8. Kalamazoo

15

PERRY’S HARLEY-DAVIDSON® 5331 SPRINKLE ROAD, KALAMAZOO (269) 329-3450 www.perryharley-davidson.com

17

9. Lansing CAPITOL HARLEY-DAVIDSON® 9550 WOODLANE DRIVE, DIMONDALE (517) 646-2345, www.capitolhd.com

11

5

2

12

10. Lapeer RAY C’S HARLEY-DAVIDSON® 1491 S. LAPEER ROAD, LAPEER (810) 664-9261, www.raycsh-d.com

3

7 8

9

www.midwestmotorcyclist.com

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11. Mt. Pleasant HOLESHOT HARLEY-DAVIDSON® 4741 E PICKARD, MT PLEASANT (989) 772-5513 www.candssportcenter.com

10

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February 2018


The 2018 Harley-Davidson® touring motorcycles, featuring the Milwaukee-Eight® 107 engine and refined suspension are here. Stop in and take one for a test ride today.

MICHIGAN HARLEY-DAVIDSON® DEALERS ASSOCIATION WWW.MHDDA.COM ENTER CUSTOM DISCLAIMER TM

Midwest Motorcyclist

23


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Midwest Motorcyclist(tm), February 2018 issue  

Goodbye Midwest Snow & Cold. Hello Baja Sunshine & Warmth! by Gene Southard; The State of the Motorcycle Industry by Ray Peabody; Product Re...

Midwest Motorcyclist(tm), February 2018 issue  

Goodbye Midwest Snow & Cold. Hello Baja Sunshine & Warmth! by Gene Southard; The State of the Motorcycle Industry by Ray Peabody; Product Re...

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