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Seminars include: Roadside Maintenance, MI State Trooper presentation, Afternoon with a Master Technician, Klim cold weather apparel, Packing for long-distance travel, Women’s Motorcycle travel, and Personal Secuarity. Check our web site and Facebook page for details about these popular events.

Winter Storage Still Available $400 through April 15, 2017 includes In & Out priviledges

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“Redefining your motorcycling lifestyle” SM * Sale expires December 31, 2016. Visit BMW Motorcycles of Southeast Michigan for details. Always ride safely and wear proper protective gear. TM

Midwest Motorcyclist

3


IN THIS ISSUE…

Columns 5 13 16 16 17

To Our Readers: The Last Ride of 2016 by Ray Peabody Looking Ahead to Motorcycling in the Midwest in 2017 by Jason Waechter Scope of Highway Defect Liability by Dondi Vesprini Ask Dr. Cycholl by Patrick Armitage The Preacher Speaks About... Riding in the Snow by Franz Hoffer

Features, News & Reviews cc media publications

This Month’s Contributors:

6 8 11

Motorcycles Highlight the Fall 2016 Slimey Crud Run by P.J. Francis 26th Annual Indiana Motorcycle Expo Set for Feburary 17-19 Tested: Taichi RET 608 Winter Gloves by Gene Southard

Resources 5 14 17

Advertiser Index Event Schedule Michigan Harley-Davidson Dealer Event Schedule

Contributing Editors Patrick Armitage, Franz Hoffer

Cover photo: The pier and lighthouse at Grand Haven on November 29. Photo by Ray Peabody.

plus

CHECK OUT OUR CLEARANCE DEPARTMENT

Pat “P.J.” Francis, Gene Southard, Dondi Vesprini, Jason Waechter Publisher/Managing Editor

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

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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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January 2017


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Harley-Davidson ............17, 18, 19 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Battle Creek Harley-Davidson....17, 18, 19 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 BMW-Motus of Grand Rapids............6, 8, 9, 15 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 BMW, SE Michigan. .........................2, 3, 14 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Camp Liberty Crusader Custom Raffle....12 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Capitol Harley-Davidson .......17, 18, 19 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Classic MotorSports........,......17, 18, 19 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Cycle Conservation Club .......................16 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Diamond Gusset Jeans ......................11 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Gildner’s Harley-Davidson ...........17, 18, 19 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Grand Rapids H-D............................17, 18, 19 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Great Lakes Dual Sporters ..................7 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Great Lakes Harley-Davidson......17, 18, 19 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Hamilton HarleyDavidson ................17, 18, 19 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Holeshot Harley-Davidson ................17, 18, 19 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Hot Rod Harley-Davidson .................17, 18, 19 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Jason Waechter, The Motorcycle Lawyer..20 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Jerry B’s Cycle Works.........................10 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 MI Harley-Davidson dealers ..........17, 18, 19 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Michigan Sport Touring Riders.....................7 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 MotorCity Motorcycles.............................11, 13, 20 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Motor City Underwriters ......................10 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Motorcycle Solutions, LLC......................10 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Peerless Beta Tools...............................2 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Perry’s Harley-Davidson ............17, 18, 19 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Ray C’s Harley-Davidson...............17, 18, 19 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Retail Warehouse .........................4, 14 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Sandy’s H-D ....................................17, 18, 19 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Shiawassee H-D ..........................17, 18, 19 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Sport Bike Track Gear ................................6 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Sweet Trikes ...........................................10 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Tecumseh Harley-Davidson ..........17, 18, 19 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Town & Country H-D........................17, 18, 19 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 Zip’s 45th Parallel H-D...................17, 18, 19 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345

Advertiser Index

TM

Midwest Motorcyclist

The Last Ride of 2016 November 29th was a nice day for November 29 . Temperatures in the 40s with sunny skies seemed like an invitation to go for a ride; especially when the short-term forecast looked like cooler temperatures, clouds, and some precipitation. The only decision was whether to ride the Tiger or the still-new-to-me XR400R. Two considerations helped in making the decision. First, the Tiger had been neglected since the XR arrived. A new motorcycle in the garage is like an exciting, new relationship; the new relationship gets the attention while everything else is put on hold. The XR is the “wild child,” fun machine with singlecylinder performance, go anywhere attitude, and a freshness that begged for attention. The Tiger, on the other hand, is the comfortable, no-surprise ride that, while having been in the stable for 5+ years, is still exhilarating with multi-cylinder performance and some – albeit minimal – wind protection. Second, the lateness in the year had me wanting to put in some miles before putting the motorcycles up for the winter. Time was short and I wanted one last ride that included some speed and apex-strafing, the memory of which would carry me through the winter. Since the Tiger is best suited to that type of riding, the Tiger won. This was a ride for the sake of the ride. No timetable. No route. No destination (other than returning home at the end.) I rolled out of the driveway at 3 p.m. and turned west towards Grand Haven and Lake Michigan. Despite the sunshine, the wind was stiff and consistent so I thought there might exist an opportunity for good pictures at the pier. I wasn’t disappointed. (see cover shot.) The first half hour of the ride was mostly slow speed cruising while enjoying the the sights. By 3:45, the sun was sinking on the horizon and I realized that riding time was short if I wanted to return home before the temperature dropped and the skies darkened. We were still in the last days of the deer hunting season and I wanted to be off the road before the deer started to move. I turned eastward towards rural twolaners. The Tiger purred beneath me with that distinctive sound of a Triumph triple. There was no rush but my pace crept up. It was like focused meditation or “flow;” I was fully into the moment with no extraneous thoughts. th

The shadows were lengthening and the temperature dropped. It wasn’t especially cold but it was chilling as the air swept up under my helmet and inside my jacket. I eventually worked my way over to some curves on Leonard Road. Leonard winds its way through a hilly area of West Michigan. These aren’t what you would call twisties but they’re enjoyable nonetheless. I rolled into the driveway at about 5:15 p.m. as darkness replaced sunlight, completely refreshed and satisfied. This was good way to end the season with memories enough to get me through the snow and cold. In fact, as we wrap up this issue and prepare to go to press, the snow has arrived in a big way and we’re eagerly awaiting spring. In the meantime, we’re prepping the bikes for the 2017 riding season and planning out our editorial calendar. We’re looking forward to offering up the latest product reviews, rider interviews and profiles, ride reports, events, and news from across the region. Thank you for reading in 2016. Best wishes to you and yours for a happy, healthy, prosperous 2017 filled with lots of great riding.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

5


Motorcycles Highlight the Fall 2017 Slimey Crud by Pat “P.J.” Francis (Editors note: While Wisconsin is known as the home of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, it’s also a destination for motorcyclists riding every other brand as well. Sport bike riders frequently ride up to Road America for the road racing, off-road and dual-sport riders head north for the fun, challenging trails, and vintage enthusiasts travel there for Rockerbox and the Slimey Crud. These are just a few of the many reasons for motorcyclists to travel to Wisconsin;there are many more. The Slimey Crud gained its fame in columns by Cycle World columnist, Peter Egan. We traveled to the spring version of the Slimey Crud a decade ago and had an awesome time. For whatever reason and multiple excuses, we haven’t been back. Fortunately, contributor P.J. Francis made the trip to Wisconsin this past autumn and shares an update on where the SC is today.)

in spring and fall, in Southern Wisconsin. Hundreds of motorcyclists turn up on Sunday morning in the small village of Pine Bluff in Dane County. They hang out for a while and then continue on to Leland in Sauk County. The villages are about 30 miles apart as the crow flies. For the motorcyclist, the distance can be much greater depending on the route chosen and whether getting lost is part of the ride. Some go to one village and not the other.

The author, P.J. Francis

The Slimey Crud is held twice every year,

Some return to Pine Bluff. There are no rules. There are no awards, vendors, competition and no winners or losers. Nothing is organized. Nobody cares how fast you ride or how far you travel. The event has been going on for about 20 years. It is an alternative to the highly organized commercial motorcycle events that are held throughout the United States. The title “Slimey Crud” (that is how they spell it) is a

humorous take on the old American movies depicting motorcycle riders as dangerous criminals intent on invading small towns and terrorizing the inhabitants. The residents of Pine Bluff and Leland do not feel any threat from the invading hoards but the bars/restaurants do a roaring trade. One enterprising local woman set up a table selling cakes and cookies in Pine Bluff. The Crud, as it is affectionately known, attracts the greatest diversity of bikes and riders imaginable. Checking out the bikes is what most attendees spend their time doing. It is less of a “Who was there?” and more of a “What was there?” event. Last autumn, I arrived at Pine Bluff about 10 a.m. and the place was packed. The available car

Continued on next page

Now in Michigan

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www.midwestmotorcyclist.com

January 2017


Continued from previous page - Slimey Crud parks were full and there were lines of bikes parked by the roadside. I found a spot by a pair of brand new Indian Roadmasters and a group of the Triumph twins. In autumn in the American Midwest, everyone has a list of chores that require attention before the show arrives. Outside house repairs, vehicle preparation, snow-equipment

preparation….the list is endless. It was obvious that, like me, a lot of people had eschewed such mundane stuff and headed off to the Crud. The day was cloudy but dry. There are always pleasant surprises at the Slimey Crud. Rare and valuable motorcycles regularly make an appearance. Many bikes rarely seen outside of a museum or vintage show are ridden in. Trikes and sidecar rigs abound. Perhaps the most common statement overheard is: I never saw one of those before. The highlight of the Crud for me is the diversity of the motorcycles. It is one gigantic free motorcycle show. All the motorcycles on display will eventually be fired up and ridden. Nobody trailers their bikes in. Well, there was a drag bike that was brought along for display purposes in an enclosed transporter but that is different. Norton Commandos, antique Indians, a Vincent, 2016 Moto

Guzzis, ... They were all there and much more. An octogenarian friend, Russ Atkinson from Brodhead, Wisconsin, no longer rides but always attends to see the bikes and meet the riders. By noon, almost everyone had dispersed. Most headed for Leland, some went home or to ride the pleasant lanes of the area. I did not like the look of the weather in the northerly direction so decided to take a long loop home. The spring 2017 Slimey Crud will happen on Sunday, May 07. It is always the first Sunday in May. The peak time for attendance at Pine Bluff is 10 a.m. and at Leland it is 1 p.m.

A Local, Non-Affiliated MotorcycleEnthusiast Club Seeking

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We Ride! 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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Midwest Motorcyclist

...All Makes of Bikes ...All Over the Country ...On Back Roads ...On Racetracks ...At Novice-Advanced Levels Our members come from all across Michigan and we ride many makes of street bikes - including: • Aprilia • BMW • Buell • Ducati

• Harley-Davidson • Honda • Kawasaki

• Suzuki • Triumph • Yamaha ....and brands in between

We travel to great riding destinations close by and far away. We learn to be better riders. We share camaraderie and a common passion: The Passion To Ride!

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

: Michigan Sport Touring Riders

7


26th ANNUAL INDIANA MOTORCYCLE EXPO SET FOR FEBRUARY 17-19, 2017 www.IndySportShow.com INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana. – The 26th Annual Indiana Motorcycle Expo thunders into the Indiana State Fairgrounds on opening weekend (February 17-19) of the 63rd annual Ford Indianapolis Boat, Sport & Travel Show, February 17—26, 2017. Fans will experience a huge variety of motorcycles, accessories, apparel and “everything under the sun” for motorcycle lovers.

Classes:

will be free flowing as these amazing people retell their stories from “back in the day”. If you are a motorcycle enthusiast, you won’t want to miss your opportunity to connect with the men and women who “pioneered” the sport and industry we currently enjoy. Following the sessions, you’ll have an opportunity to talk one-on-one with these Pioneers and view a display of their private collections of memorabilia which will include one of a kind bikes, personal photo collections, trophies, riding apparel and more.

• Best Sport Touring • Best Adventure Sport • Best Cruiser / Bagger •

Best Power Cruiser

• Best Bagger / Tourer • Best 3-Wheel • Best Chopper • Best Classic, Rat Bike & Barn Finds

* Tiny Tots Riding Experience: Let the little ones ride at the Tiny Tots Riding Experience! Great for first timers and amateurs, the Tiny Tot Riding Experience is safe and fun for your future biker. Provided are the riding area, motorcycle and apparel. The only problem will be pulling your child away! Plus, in conjunction with the Tiny Tots Riding Experience, ABATE of Indiana will have the “ABATE Children’s Motorcycle Adventure” with several hands-on activities geared toward kids.

Featured at the 26th Annual Indiana Motorcycle Expo: *International Bikini Team: Back by popular demand for the fourth consecutive year, the International Bikini Team is a star attraction at the Expo! See a bevy of local, regional, and national contestants compete for cash and prizes. * Bikers Showcase Bike Contest! The Bikers Showcase is an exciting and nostalgic motorcycle exhibit and contest all rolled into one! This year’s theme is Touring – “Built for the Long Haul”.

* ABATE Motorcycle Classes: ABATE of Indiana has trained more than 125,000 Hoosier motorcyclists to ride over the past 37 years. Beginning in 1979, before there was a state legislated program in Indiana, ABATE saw the benefits of riders having the skills and strategies to make their travels safer and more enjoyable. If you know someone that rides a motorcycle, it is likely that they have taken a course with ABATE, and now it’s your turn. Registration for ABATE classes opens at the Indiana Motorcycle Exposition at the Indiana State Fairgrounds February 17-19.

* Pioneers of Hoosier Motorcycling: In a very comfortable and casual setting at the 26th Annual Indiana Motorcycle Expo, the men and women who were “pioneers” in Indiana’s motorcycle world will share their stories and remembrances of the early days of motorcycling. These moderated sessions will be tailored to various topics and themes, but

Hours: Fri., Feb. 17 Sat., Feb. 18 Sun., Feb. 19

Save $2 per Adult ticket by purchasing them online at www.IndySportShow.com.

Pre-Owned Motorcycles 2016 BMW K 1600 GTL Excl. 2015 BMW G 650 GS, 2015 BMW R nineT , 2013 BMW K1600 GTL, 2012 BMW G 650 GS Sertao, 2012 BMW K 1600 GTL, 2012 BMW K 1600 GTL, 2012 Ducati Diavel,

Storm Met., 8,870 miles, Black, 1,583 miles, Black, 2,506 miles Dark graphite, 22,150 miles, Blue & White, 19,685 miles, Mineral Silver, 48,900 miles, Royal Blue, 19,000 miles, Red, 9,950 miles,

$22,450 $6,450 $10,900 $15,950 $6,450 $13,999 $14,950 $8,950

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One R 1200 GS. One Mission – The best GS of all times. The BMW R 1200 GS – the icon of all travel adventure bikes. For 32 years “the GS” has been defining its segment and has proven to be the trusty companion on any motorcycle journey. BMW Motorrad is now embarking on a new chapter of its success story and is yet again perfecting the iconic R 1200 GS. Well-equipped at an MSRP of $16,495 plus tax, title and all other local charges.

One Feeling – Power in every situation. One Emotion – Supreme control. One Impression – Strong individuality. BMW - Motus Motorcycles of Grand Rapids 5995 South Division Grand Rapids, MI (616) 530-6900 www.bmwmcgr.com ©2016 BMW Motorrad USA, a division of BMW of North America, LLC. The BMW name and logo are registered trademarks. TM

Midwest Motorcyclist

9


MOTOR CITY UNDERWRITERS, INC. Motorcycle and Auto insurance for 51 Years! • • • • • • • •

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January 2017


Tested

Taichi RST 608 Winter Glove by Gene Southard

If you believe in the old saying “There is no bad weather, only the wrong clothes,” then you might be interested in looking at Taichi’s RST 608 winter glove from their new ’16-’17 winter collection. When I first looked at this glove, I thought it was a sportbike glove because of the styling. Most winter gloves are, well, let’s say boring. The average motorcycle winter glove is plain and looks like you just got off your snowmobile. They are so stiff that you have trouble holding on to the bars. The RST 608 comes preformed to the bend in your hand and, because the palm is made from synthetic leather, there is no break in. I have had summer gloves that were not this comfortable. The 3M Thinsulate kept my hands toasty on winter rides but was not so thick that I could not feel the heated grips on my Beemer. The outershell is made from synthetic leather, nylon, goat leather and polyester while the lining is made from polyester. Taichi claims this glove is waterproof and breathable but I have not ridden with them in the rain yet.

One of the biggest complaints I have with cold weather gloves is the loss of feeling in the fingers. However, I had no problem operating the turnsignals and high/low beam switches with the Taichi gloves. You can even operate your smart phone with the index finger inserts, while the silicone on the fore and middle finger tips help you grip the clutch and brake levers. As far as protection goes, the RST 608 has plenty. The knuckle protection is usually only found in a track day glove but feels right at home in this glove along with the foam padding in the palm and heel of the hand. It seems that the clothing manufacturers are putting reflective trim on everything now and the RST 608 is no exception. Reflective inserts are on the fingers of both gloves. This glove is a snug fit getting on because of the tight fit and Velcro closure at the wrist. If you want a gauntlet glove, maybe one of Taichis other gloves would be a better selection as this is a wrist-length glove. The RST 608 comes in six different colors and retails for $79.95. To find a dealer go to www.RS-taichi.com and use the “dealer locator.”

RIDE ONE AND YOU’LL OWN ONE Our first bike roared to life on July 4th, 1998. This was more than a patriotic gesture. It was the flag in the ground that marked the rebirth of the American V-Twin, and we’ve been claiming more roads ever since. From numerous awards to leading innovations, we have given new life to American muscle with industry changing cruisers, baggers, and touring bikes. If you want to ride a powerful, stylish, modern V-twin that’s energizing the market, visit our dealership today. The 2017 models, including the Magnum® X-1, are now in our showroom.

1765 S. Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI One mile north of Square Lake Rd. on the east side of Telegraph Rd.

248.920.2000 • www.ridemotorcity.com

Magnum® X-1 Climb on and plug into 10 speakers blasting 200 watts powered by a 106 cubic in V-Twin

on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MotorCityMotorcycles

Victory® and Victory Motorcycles® are registered trademarks of Polaris Industries Inc. Always wear a helmet, eye protection and protective clothing and obey the speed limit. Never ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol. TM

Midwest Motorcyclist

11


Opinion

The Future of Motorcycling by Ray Peabody

The evolution of the motorcycle is accelerating. As more and better electric motorcycles enter the market and technologies are introduced that will keep us safer, the motorcycles and the environment in which we ride will surely change. Sure, we will still be riding internal combustion-powered motorcycles for a decade or more but several factors will determine how quickly motorcycles will evolve. Some of the factors that will determine the types of motorcycles we will be riding include climate change, battery size and weight, the length of time and distance a battery will hold a charge, the speed at which a battery can recharged, the number of people who want to ride motorcycles, the price of oil, government regulations and the speed at which autonomous vehicles take over the roads. There are likely other factors but these seem to be the ones having the greatest impact on the design of motorcycles at this time. From that introduction, you might think that the focus of this article is on electric motorcycles. You would be mostly accurate. Patented designs of electric bicycles have been around since 1895 and some electric motorcycles were produced in the early 1900s. (source: Wikipedia) Then as now, the batteries were the biggest factor in the viability and marketability of an electric. It wasn’t until the late-1900s and early part of this century that batteries were small and lightweight enough to power commercially-

BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 Concept

Photo property of BMW Motorrad

available motorcycles. As is often the case, racing was the segment that pushed battery development forward. First it was drag racing, then endurance racing, and finally road racing. As battery performance improved, so did the number of manufacturers who began developing electric motorcycles increase. Today, no less than 18 motorcycle or scooter manufacturers, including some well known companies like Harley-Davidson, Yamaha, Victory and Zero, are developing electric models. Advances in battery technology have made electric motorcycles more viable. The Zero S electric in 2012 weighed 297 pounds and had an estimated range of 112 miles. The Zero SR model we tested for our September 2015 issue was considerably heavier at 414 pounds (458 pounds with the Power Tank accessory) but had a range of 151 miles (185 with the Power Tank accessory.) That’s dramatic improvement especially when you consider that a Total Motorcycle

Crusader Custom Raffle to Benefit Camp Liberty

$20 per ticket

Only 4,000 tickets will be sold

(www.totalmotorcycle.com) survey at the time found that only 14% of riders ride more than 150 miles in a day. 70% self reported riding 100 miles or less on the average ride. Electric motorcycles on the market today would satisfy the range needs of 70% of motorcycle riders. For the longer distance riders, electrics will become viable when fast charging capabilities become available, the range an electric can travel in a single charge exceeds 300 miles, or better yet, both. Based on my brief experience on the Zero, electrics are close to viable right now. For example, Zero boasts that the 2017 SR produces the equivalent of 75 horsepower and 116 foot pounds of torque with a range of 202 miles (with the optional power pack.) This is not an ad for Zero but rather an example of how far electrics have come in a short time. Other manufacturers are making similar gains. Another more futuristic feature of electric motorcycles that will be available from at least one manufacturer in 2017 is gyroscopic self-balancing. Most motorcycle enthusiasts have seen the announcements and video of the BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 concept vehicle. It is an electric motorcycle that uses not only gyroscopic selfbalancing technology but also comes with heads up display goggles in place of an instrument cluster and a specialized air-conditioned and heated riding suit. Apparently, BMW is so confident in the fact that this motorcycle will not go down, they say that helmets and safety gear are not necessary. Obviously, this is a concept motorcycle that might not be available in the near future, if ever. But the ideas are interesting and the enhanced safety might encourage people who are considering riding

Continued on page 15

MotorCity Motorcycles Actively Supports Our Veterans Donation Drive for Veterans in Need Help support the men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces on our behalf. The local Veterans Administration office tells us that there are a significant number of local area veterans who need a variety of basic items, including coats, hats, gloves, underwear, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, socks, t-shirts, etc. Our dealership, MotorCity Motorcycles, is accepting these items on behalf of the local VA from now through the end of the year. Please be generous. Our veterans deserve our support.

Up to $1,000 OFF for military, police and fire on NEW Indian or Victory motorcycles in tock.

Drawing on 2/18/2017 To learn more about Camp Liberty, visit their web site at https://campliberty.org. To purchase a raffle ticker for the Crusader Custom, go to https://camp-liberty.org/ crusader-custom-built-motorcycle. The proceeds from the sale of the Crusader will fund recreation, training and support programs for our combat injured and disabled veterans, through Camp Liberty.

12

www.facebook.com/MotorCityMotorcycles

1765 S. Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI One mile north of Square Lake Rd. on the east side of Telegraph Rd.

248.920.2000 • www.RideMotorCity.com

www.midwestmotorcyclist.com

January 2017


Looking Ahead to Motorcycling in the Midwest in 2017 by Jason Waechter, Esq. Welcome to 2017! Now that the holiday season has finished, for the most part, we motorcyclists in the Midwest need new ways to distract ourselves from the fact that we can’t be out riding. With that in mind, here are some new laws that could affect you in 2017, as well as well-established law that people need to be reminded about. First, let’s talk about distracted driving, because a new Bill before the Michigan Legislature (House Bill 5867) could change how drivers use their phones and other devices within the State of Michigan. This Bill was introduced in September of 2016, and states, “a person shall not hold or use a portable electronic device while operating a motor vehicle that is moving on a highway or street in this state or temporarily stationary due to traffic, a traffic control device, or other momentary delay.” This applies to cell phones, GPS devices, or any other handheld electronic device, and restricts the use of these items even while stopped at a stop sign or other traffic control measure. Drivers who mount their device on their car, pull over to the side of the road, or those who are reporting an accident, crime, or hazardous situation, are permitted to use their phones. There’s no question that distracted driving is dangerous for everyone involved: the distracted driver, their passengers, and just about everyone else on the road around them; readers here know that distracted driving is particularly dangerous for motorcyclists. With that in mind, it’s hard to argue against banning the use of handheld devices, as I believe it could benefit everyone on the road. If passed, this law would be a big change for drivers in Michigan; however, using a handheld device while driving has been illegal in Illinois since 2014, and all Midwest states have banned texting while driving. Next, the Michigan Legislature is currently looking at Senate Bill 496, which would increase fines for riding a motorcycle or moped without the proper license. In Michigan, motorcyclists are required to have a valid driver’s license with a CY endorsement, while moped riders need a special restricted license, unless they already have a driver’s or chauffeur’s license. Anyone over the age of 15 can apply for a restricted license as long as they meet certain criteria. SB 496 would fine riders caught without a license or endorsement up to $500 or three months in prison for a first offense; after that, operators without proper credentials could be fined up to $1,000 and spend up to a year in prison. Once again, it’s hard to find fault in this type of legislation; readers know that I always encourage all motorcyclists (and moped riders) to “get endorsed, get insured, and spread the word”. Getting a motorcycle endorsement is relatively inexpensive, TM

Midwest Motorcyclist

and it’s the law; all Midwest states require a valid license to ride, whether it’s a driver’s license with an endorsement or a special motorcycle-only license. Paying $23 for a CY endorsement in Michigan seems like a bargain compared to a $500 fine if caught without one. Finally, let’s talk about turn signals, because it seems like this needs to be brought up once a year or so in order to remind all drivers about this simple, effective, and easy-to-use device that can help prevent crashes, injuries, and deaths. Our vehicles are getting smarter; our side mirrors use radar to detect vehicles in our blind spots, our vehicles have rear-view cameras to avoid backingin collisions, and many vehicles offer “brake assist” features where the car stops automatically to avoid a crash. Technology could potentially do a lot to reduce crashes, injuries, and deaths on our roads; that said, drivers have the power to potentially prevent these things as well, simply by using their turn signals consistently. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), found that many drivers are either too distracted or too lazy to use the most basic safety device on their vehicle or motorcycle. How many drivers? According to a 2012 SAE study, operators failed to use their turn signals 25% of the time while turning, and (incredibly), 48% of the time when changing lanes. Once more, that’s one quarter of drivers not using their signals before turning, and almost half not bothering to signal before changing lanes. Does that shock you? If not, this might: applying the SAE study numbers to all drivers in the United States would give us 750 billion turns or lane changes each year without the use of turn signals, or more than two billion instances each day. To put it another way, distracted driving is said to cause as many as 950,000 crashes each year; that’s not even half the number of crashes caused by failure to use turn signals! Is signaling your intentions required by law? Signaling intentions is part of the Michigan Vehicle Code (MCL 257.648): “The operator of a vehicle or bicycle upon a highway, before stopping or turning from a direct line, shall first determine that the stopping or turning can be made in safety and shall give a signal as required in this section… either by means of the hand and arm in the manner specified in this section, or by a mechanical or electrical signal device that conveys an intelligible signal or warning to other highway traffic.” All other Midwest states have laws on the books about the use of turn signals, though there are some differences in terms of what is required by law and how violations are enforced. Every time I write about this problem, I wonder: even if signaling was optional, why wouldn’t a driver or motorcyclist want to signal their intentions? What could be gained by skipping

this simple step, compared to what could be lost? This year, my team and I made a New Year’s Resolution to integrate turn signal safety into our motorcycle awareness campaigns. Join the movement: remind your friends and family that turn signals have the potential to save lives. Or, spread the word via social media, and follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheMotorcycleLawyer. We are committed to providing up-to-date and interesting information about motorcycling in the Midwest, and we need your help! If you have a question about motorcycling and the law, a story to share, or a comment about this or any other article I have written, get in touch: email clerk@lawyerforlife.com, or visit www.TheMotorcycleLawyer.com. 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 1-877-BIKER 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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Events Events do change. Please call ahead.

Michigan January 8 6th Annual Hastings Motorcycle Swap Meet Barry County Expo Center 1350 N M-37, Hastings, MI $7 / Adults; Children 12 & under are free (800) 800-6034

March 31-Apri1 1 Mid-Michigan Motorcyclist 28th Annual Pigfest 2017 Ramada Lansing Hotel & Conference Center (formerly Holiday Inn West) Hospitality Pool Party Saturday 1 p.m. to 5p.m. Pigfest starts at 6 p.m. Pre-registration event only! Just $35.00 per person, $50.00 with Souvenir t-shirt (U.S. Funds only) For information contact Scott & Monica, PigFest Directors at (517) 316-1337 Visit www.harleyrider.net for flyer! April 9 37th Annual Grand Rapids Motorcycle Swap Meet Deltaplex Arena 2500 Turner Ave., Grand Rapids, MI $8/ adult (800) 800-6034

February 5 2nd Annual Muskegon Motorcycle Swap Meet L C Walker Arena 955 4th Street, Muskegon, MI (800) 800-6034 February 17-19, 2017 2017 AMA Ice Race Grand Championship Cadillac, Michigan March 19 44th Annual Kalamazoo Motorcycle Swap Meet 3600 Vanrick Drive, Kalamazoo, MI $9/ adult (800) 800-6034 March 24-26 Custom Bike Show & Expo Gibraltar Trade Center 237 North River Road (I-94, Exit 237), Mt. Clemens, MI March 25, 2017 Monster Energy Supercross Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan

April 15 14th Annual Cadillac Motorcycle Swap Meet Wexford Civic Center 3120 North Mitchell Street, Cadillac, MI $7/ adult, children under 12 are free (800) 800-6034 April 23 Birch Run Motorcycle Swap Meet Birch Run Expo Center May 19-21 Paragon Rocks the Blessing 45th Annual Baldwin Blessing of the Bikes, Baldwin, MI

May 21 Walneck’s Swap Meet Monroe County Fairgrounds 3775 S. Custer Rd. (on M-50), Monroe, MI $6 / admission; $40 / vendors (630) 985-2097 May 28 29th Annual Valpo-Fest Motorcycle-Car Show & Swap Meet Porter County Expo Center 215 E. Division Road, Valparaiso, IN $8/ adult; children under 12 free (800) 800-6034 May 21 Walneck’s Swap Meet Monroe County Fairgrounds 3775 S. Custer Rd. (on M-50), Monroe, MI $6 / admission; $40 / vendors (630) 985-2097

Indiana January 3 ABATE Region 3 2017 Frozen Buns Run Free rode. Everyone welcome. In Grant County, starts at 12 noon at Courthouse Square 101 E. 4th Street, Marion, IN In Howard County, starts at 1 p.m. at Southside of Courthouse Square in downtown Kokomo Ride ends at Eagles, 1221 E. Lincoln Rd., Kokomo, IN Bring a covered dish or dessert In Wabash County, starts at 12 noon at Wabash Courthouse Square. Ride ends at Brandt’s HarleyDavidson, 1400 Cass St., Wabash, IN.

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March 18, 2017 Monster Energy Supercross Lucas Oil Stadium Indianapolis, Indiana May 28 29th Annual Valpo-Fest MotorcycleCar Show & Swap Meet Porter County Expo Center 215 E. Division Road, Valparaiso, IN $8/ adult; children under 12 are free (800) 800-6034 July 9 Walneck’s Swap Meet 252 Hospital Rd., Martinsville, IN $6 / person; $40 / vendors (630) 985-2097 September 17 Walneck’s Swap Meet 252 Hospital Rd., Martinsville, IN $6 / person; $40 / vendors (630) 985-2097

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February 17-19 Indiana Motorcycle Expo Come out to see the 2017 models, Biker’s Showcase, International Bikini Team, Pioneers of Hoosier Motorcycling, ABATE of Indiana motorcycle classes, Tiny Tots Riding Experience Indiana State Fairgrounds 1202 E. 38th Street, Indianapolis, IN Tickets $14 – Save $2 by purchasing in advance At www.indianamotorcycleexpo.com

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January 17 25th Annual ABATE Day at the Statehouse 2017 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN (800) 232-2283 for information

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January 2017


Michigan roads including those not equipped with a steering wheel or motorcycles to actually learn to ride. I brakes; riders in these vehicles wouldn’t wonder though whether a bike that will be able to take control should a not fall over will work for more malfunction occur. I understand that, experienced riders who like to lean the because of Michigan’s long history as a motorcycle over and drag a knee center of the automobile industry, being through the curves. Will the BMW allow at the forefront of this new industry is that or will it take the option of that desireable to those who want to make kind of riding away from the rider? It’s a using the roads safer. However, it makes serious question and one that we’ll me wonder whether these new discuss when we get to sharing the road technologies are progressing too with autonomous vehicles. quickly. Is the government putting us at The interesting thing about risk by allowing these new technologies BMW’s futuristic self-balancing on the roads? motorcycle is that another company is Most all of us have read or seen planning to bring similar technology to news reports about crashes involving the market in 2017! Thrustcycle semi-autonomous Tesla electric cars. In (www.thrustcycle.com) is an American one example, the car owner was riding company based in Honolulu, Hawaii. around in his Tesla as if it was fully The company’s autonomous; hands prototypes are off the wheel and being attention manufactured elsewhere. in Wilsonville, Unfortunately for Oregon. Their him, a semi-truck motorcycle / cut in front of him scooter, named but his Tesla didn’t the GyroCycle, “see” the truck. The is an electric Tesla hit the truck incorporating and the driver died. the gyroscopic Thrustcycle GyroCycle This was self-balancing unfortunate but it technology similar to what has been raises a lot of questions about the described by BMW. The company plans current state of the technology. to bring the GyroCycle to market at an First and foremost is the MSRP of less than $20,000. The styling of question of whether autonomous the Gyro doesn’t match up with my vehicle manufacturers are ensuring that tastes but the fact that the technology these vehicles will “see” motorcycles will be available next year is intriguing. and whether those vehicles can adapt to Part of the reason these the movements of another smaller technologies are so interesting is not for vehicle that moves in ways dissimilar to the improved riding experience veteran cars. Apparently, the manufacturers riders will enjoy. Instead, the true value haven’t been considering us. of these technologies is founded on the According to New Atlas idea that making scooters and (formerly Gizmag), the Dutch agency motorcycles easier to ride and safer for (RDW) responsible for granting type new riders will sell more units. approval is planning to test how new Considering the fact that fewer people self-driving car technologies deal with are learning to ride and buying motorcyclists on the road. From the motorcycles while, at the same time, article: “The agency is planning to older, more experienced riders are cooperate with major European deciding to stop riding, manufacturers motorcycling organizations to test a will have to find new ways to bring in range of new cars running seminew customers or their businesses will autonomous driver assists. As well as slowly die. A quick Google search making sure such vehicles can correctly shows that many companies, especially detect motorcyclists and respond Asian companies, are working with accordingly, the tests aim to work out a electric, self-balancing technologies. set of techniques motorcyclists can use With the implementation of to be spotted by self-driving these new technologies in mind, the systems.”Let’s hope that the RDW efforts future of motorcycling looks positive. will be considered by autonomousThat is, until we begin considering the vehicle manufacturers world wide. whole new world of autonomous / self This issue raises another driving vehicles. That’s when my question about whether motorcycles optimism begins to fade. will have to be autonomous in order to Michigan Governor Rick operate safely on the roads with other Snyder recently signed several bills autonomous vehicles. Have you ever making it legal to operate autonomous considered what an autonomous / selfor self-driving vehicles on Michigan driving motorcycle will be like? Will roads. Early on, the self-driving vehicles the widespread use of autonomous are likely to be test vehicles intended to vehicles lead to the exclusion of other prove that the technologies work. The people-driven vehicles on the road? bills define the autonomous vehicles Continued on page 18 that would be legal to operate on

Continued from page 15

TM

Midwest Motorcyclist

2015 Model Year Closeout on new BMW Motorcycles

2015 BMW C 650 GT, Havanna Metallic, $7,950

2015 BMW F 800 R, Lt. White / Black Satin, $7,950

2015 BMW F 800 GT, Light White, $10,900

2015 BMW R nine T, Black Storm Metallic, $11,990

2015 BMW F 700 GS, Alpine White, $8,950

2015 BMW F 700 GS, Racing Blue Metallic, $8,950

2015 BMW R 1200 RT, Alpine White / Light Blk, $21,500

2015 BMW K 1300 S, Black, $13,950

JOIN US AT THE

Performance Center

Learn to ride off-road like a Master. We’re going to the BMW Performance RidingCenter for offroad rider training from February 21-22, 2017. If you want to improve your riding skills, this is the place to do it. Call our dealership for details.

BMW-Motus Motorcycles of Grand Rapids 5995 South Division, Grand Rapids, MI (616) 530-6900 • www.bmwmcgr.com 15


Motorcycling & Law

Scope of Highway Defect Liability by Dondi Vesprini By the time you read this article, we will have commenced our journey into the new year. Hopefully, your new year is off to a satisfying start and your new year’s resolutions remain unbroken. (They say the first three weeks are the toughest!) I wanted to use this time as an opportunity to write about an ever increasing type of problem that motorcyclists tend to encounter on the road and the ever decreasing scope of liability that pertains to the problem. I am referring to the ever increasing problem of road defects and the ever decreasing exposure to liability that the responsible governmental agencies face with regard to same. Michigan statutes set forth a governmental agencies responsibility to maintain a highway under its jurisdiction. It provides that such agency “shall maintain the highway in reasonable repair so that it is reasonably safe and convenient for public travel.� The statute also explains that this duty only applies to “the improved portion of the highway designed for vehicular travel� and expressly excludes sidewalks, trailways, crosswalks, or any other installation outside of the improved portion of the highway designed for vehicular travel. While it may seem that “the improved portion of the highway designed for vehicular travel� would encompass a broad array of potential defects that

• MAINTAINED TRAILS • ORGANIZED EVENTS • FAMILY FUN • ALL LEGAL

N O N - C O M P E T

one would be able to pursue a valid claim for, the truth of how limiting our courts have defined the term might surprise you. For example, our courts have held that the duty to repair and maintain the roadway does not allow an injured motorcyclist to make a claim for dangerous highway design. For instance, suppose there is a roadway with an incredibly dangerous blind corner or a sloped road at the crest of a hill that prevents motorist from seeing one another in time to avoid a crash. Courts have held that an injured person is not allowed to make a claim for this type of design defect because there is no such design duty in the statute and only claims for defects in the actual roadbed itself are actionable. What about defects in the pavement on the shoulder of the roadway? If a motorist is injured due to a pothole or a grade differential between a gravel shoulder and the asphalt roadway, surely this is an actionable claim, right? Wrong. Our courts have held that the shoulder, unlike a travel lane, is not designed for vehicular travel, thus a “shoulder� is not considered part of the “improved portion of the highway designed for vehicular travel� for which a governmental agency can be held liable for a failure to repair or maintain. Ok. So if there is a dangerous accumulation of snow, ice or water on the travel lane of the road surface, this is a condition for which the responsible I T I O N governmental agency can be held responsible for, correct? Not quite. In these circumstances, our courts have held that there must exist a combination of the snow, ice or water, and a defect of the roadway itself that together caused the accident. In other words, if a pothole in the road is filled with water that caused a motorcyclist to lose control and go down, if there is no evidence that the pothole itself caused the motorcycle to down over

Let’s Go Trail Riding!

and above the fact that it allowed the water to accumulate, there is not actionable claim. I don’t make this stuff up. Courts have also found that loose gravel on a road surface, which can be extraordinarily dangerous to motorcycles, does not implicate the government’s statute duty to maintain a highway in reasonable repair. Regarding loose gravel, in a recent Circuit Court case, a motorcycle went down on some loose gravel on a roadway at an intersection of two roads. A road commission had just done a road re-surfacing project on one of the roads and purposely placed loose gravel on the roadway as part of the project to allow motorists (obviously not motorcycles) greater traction going over the road. Vehicles travelling over the loose gravel had dragged a large amount of the gravel into the intersection and that is where the motorcycle at issue encountered it and went down. Amazingly, in that case, the Circuit Court ruled that because the area where the motorcyclist encountered the loose gravel was not part of the construction project at issue there was not an actionable claim. As you can see, while the statute requires the government to repair and maintain “the improved portion of the highway designed for vehicular travel�, the duty does not extend as far as one would expect. Further, it seems as time moves forward, Courts are issuing decisions which further limit the ever decreasing scope of what types of road defects are actionable. As always, if anyone has any questions or if I can be of legal assistance to you or anyone you know 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!

ASK Dr. Cycholl Q&A Column For Your Questions Relating to Motorcycle Safety, Riding Techniques and Touring

No place to ride? Michigan is home to the largest organized network of off-road trails in the world - more than 3500 miles of marked, maintained ORV trails for the entire family to enjoy! Since 1968, The Cycle Conservation Club of Michigan has led the charge to assure continued access to public lands for motorized recreation by working closely with state and federal government. Membership in the CCC offers organized trail rides, a map CD of the entire trail system, a subscription to the Great Lakes TrailRider Magazine and a host of other member benefits! Call us today at 517-781-4805. The Cycle Conservation Club of Michigan PO Box 486 t$PMEXBUFS .*tXXXDZDMFDPOTFSWBUJPODMVCPSH

By Maurice “Moe� D. Cycholl Dear Dr. Cycholl, If motorcyclist is stuck in a traffic jam, is it proper to ride on the shoulder of the road? -B Bourbina Dear B, Thank you for a good question. Is it proper as in legal? No. Would I do it?

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www.midwestmotorcyclist.com

A conditional yes. If traffic is completely stopped or moving very slowly, say 10 mph or less I will pass traffic on the side of the road. I find most other motorcyclists will do the same. Most car drivers seem to have less animosity toward a biker doing this than a fellow car driver. For many bikes, those with air-cooled bikes this is almost a necessity. Air-cooled bikes will overheat pretty quickly without a good airflow over the engine. Most if not all liquid cooled bikes can handle this without a problem. A fan usually will come on a keep things cool without any other airflow across the radiator. In California it is actually legal to “lane split� or ride the white line separating lanes in stopped traffic if it is moving slower than a described speed provided the rider is overtaking traffic at a slow speed. Given the traffic conditions in Southern California I can’t imagine any bikers there not taking advantage of this. Thank you, Dr. Cycholl

January 2017


The Preacher Speaks About...

Riding in the Snow by Franz “The Preacher” Hoffer Do any of you up-north riders venture out in winter snow, ice, sleet, etc. on your motors? I did some research on it and it appears that many riders do. I think you’re all nuts but to each his own. After perusing several articles, it seems that enthusiasts can ride manageable areas by adhering to some rules or advice from experts, I’ve summarized the most important ones: 1. Clothing. Seems like most experts on the topic recommend full leg, full sleeve, breathable clothing. The brand name UnderArmour seemed to come up most often. Keep in mind that even in winter and sub-zero temps, you are going to sweat and you need to keep warm while at the same time controlling the perspiration. Nothing

will get you cold quicker than accumulated sweat. The UnderArmour breathable base layers will help the sweat evaporate rather than turning into cold perspiration on the body. Do the same for your socks. It might seem obvious but you can’t just go and jump on your bike and go. You really need to think about your apparel. And make sure you wear a water-proof outer layer. Gore-Tex, due to its waterproofing and breathability features, is the choice of most. When considering boots, the name most often mentioned is Gore-Tex. As far as gloves, most experts seemed to recommend Klim Element or the Held Freezer Glove. A neck warmer is a must; choose a good one and always take an extra one in case the first one gets wet. As far as a choice of helmet, anything other than a full face that covers your head - front, back and ears - is a mistake and a “facemask” probably makes sense TM

Midwest Motorcyclist

as well. Heated gear should be considered. Heck, I’d say required. It certainly can’t hurt. 2. Prep your Motorcycle. A bigger windscreen/shield is a must, don’t cut corners on that and get the biggest hand guards you can find. Heated hand-grips should be standard for winter riding as well as good crash bars. Yes, crash bars. You increase your chances of crashing in the winter by about 100%; it’s a conservative estimate (ha,ha) but you decrease your chances of getting hurt if you are lucky enough to fly into a snowbank. If your motorcycle is liquid-cooled engines, be sure to check the antifreeze.

3.Tires. A simple law of physics - or shall I say winter - to remember is that cold weather means cold tires which means limited or poor traction. Probably a good idea to also check the condition and tread depth on those tires you just rode on all summer. Check your tire pressure often; like everytime you stop. 4. Road Conditions. Salt or sand will diminish your traction as bad as if you were riding on ice. Don’t forget, those snow plows and salt trucks that are such a welcome sight on icy roads also damage the road. New pot-holes could appear out of nowhere on roads you know well. In addition, the cold/thaw cycle will cause roads to heave or sink so be weary of uneven road surfaces. They will be out there. Don’t forget to wash that salt off your motor after riding or you will end up with a

Michigan

Harley-Davidson

Dealer Events

For a complete list of Michigan Harley-Davidson Dealer Association Members, see the dealer locator on page 19. December 24 Last Minute Christmas Eve Shopping Come in and get your last minute Christmas shopping done! We’ll even wrap them for you! Battle Creek Harley-Davidson 5738 Beckley Road, Battle Creek, MI (269) 979-2233 December 24 Big Snack Saturday Enjoy a variety of free snacks while catching all the big football games on our big screen tv. Plus, you can enter for a chance to win a $100 gift card!

ABC Harley-Davidson, Inc. 4405 Highland Road (M-59), Waterford, MI 248.674.3175 December 31 Big Snack Saturday Enjoy a variety of free snacks while catching all the big football games on our big screen tv. Plus, you can enter for a chance to win a $100 gift card! ABC Harley-Davidson, Inc. 4405 Highland Road (M-59), Waterford, MI 248.674.3175

“LOOK TWICE, SAVE A LIFE” MOTORCYCLES ARE EVERYWHERE

Continued on next page

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Continued from previous page - The Preacher rusted mess in a very short period of time. 5. Flight Plan. Let someone who cares and will be looking for you know where you are going, the approximate time you are departing, and when you expect to arrive at your destination. Give that person some details on roads you will be taking and always, always make sure you have a cell phone with you. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a small survival kit, including snacks, water, flares, heavy blanket, etc.with you.

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

6. Don’t be Stupid. I think riding in winter already qualifies you as borderline, but if you have to do it, be sure and always check the weather report for the time you will be riding. If inclement weather is predicted, stay home or wherever you are and wait it out.

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

So there you have it; the Preachers survival points for winter riding. I can’t lie. I have never ridden in the winter nor do I plan to. But I have an alternative for you if you want to ride your motorcycle in the winter. It’s called a Timbersled Snow Bike kit (http:// www.timbersled.com/en-us/snow-biking) for dirt bikes. The kit allows you to change out your front tire for a ski and rear tire for a track. This looks like something I would like to ride. It’s made for winter unlike the motorcycle you ride during other times of year. You can read a review of the Timbersled kit at http://www.cycleworld.com/2017-timbersled-snowbike-motorcycle-review-first-ride#page-3

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

Continued from page 15 - The Future Would you want to ride one if that was the only type of motorcycle riding you could do? Admittedly, I’m cynical about the idea of autonomous vehicles and especially motorcycles. Riding a motorcycle requires a higher level of awareness than do other vehicles on the road. While technology can quickly adapt to a motorcycle moving through traffic, what happens to the rider if the motorcycle autonomously brakes hard or turns sharply and the rider isn’t paying attention? Will the rider need to wear a seat belt to ensure that he or she doesn’t fall off? Will riding a motorcycle be as much fun when we don’t actually control its operation? Is it likely that motorcycles will become obsolete as either recreation or transportation except in off-road, closedcourse situations? I don’t know the answers to these questions but I can guess. I’m something of a Neanderthal when it comes to many of the innovations being introduced in the motorcycle industry. Yes, I can get behind electric motorcycles because they offer most of the same experiences enjoyed on an internalcombustion-powered motorcycle. However, I like mechanical things. I like knowing how they work and that I can work on them. I like to drive cars and ride motorcycles. I like knowing that my successful arrival at my desired destination is the direct result of my riding and driving skills. That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate innovations that have improved the performance and reliability of a motorcycle or car. What I don’t appreciate is what looks like technologists and government representatives colluding to make me “safer” while at the same time eliminating some of the things that make me feel most alive. The future of motorcycling looks mixed at this point. I’m glad I have lived in the period when internal-combustionpowered motorcycles are at the pinnacle of performance. I’m happy that I’ve been able to sit on top of powerful engine and ride roads and trails knowing that whatever happened next was mostly a factor of my skill set not some controlling technology. While we don’t know exactly what the future holds, the solutions that technology companies pursue with the cooperation of governmental agencies can provide some clues.

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7. Hudsonville GRAND RAPIDS HARLEY-DAVIDSON® 2977 CORPORATE GROVE DR., HUDSONVILLE (616) 896-0111, www.grandrapidsharley.com

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8. Kalamazoo

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

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

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

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

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January 2017


TM

Midwest Motorcyclist

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MOTORCYCLE WRECK? Call the MOTORCYCLE LAWYER!

1-877-BIKER-LAW

WE TAKE AUTO & TRUCK CASES TOO! Hurt in a crash? Call Jason Waechter - The Motorcycle Lawyer

1-877-BIKER-LAW

www.TheMotorcycleLawyer.com

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2015 Kawasaki Vulcan® 1700 Voyager® ABS, Black, 147 miles, $14,499 OUT THE DOOR!!!

2004 Harley-Davidson® Screamin EagleSoftail Deuce, Yellow, 22,151 miles, $12,749 OUT THE DOOR

2012 Triumph Bonneville T100, Two tone paint 4,690 miles, $7,249 OUT THE DOOR!!!

2013 Harley-Davidson® FLTRX - Road Glide® Custom, Black Denim, 9,494 miles, $16,999 OUT THE DOOR!!!

1998 Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe, Black, 62,891 miles, $4,499 OUT THE DOOR!!!

2011 Harley-Davidson FXS Blackline, Black, 3,254 miles, $11,249 OUT THE DOOR!!!

2010 Kawasaki Vulcan® 900 Custom, Black, 23,968 miles, $5,249 OUT THE DOOR!!!

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248.920.2000 • www.ridemotorcity.com

Check out these latest additions to our Pre-owned Motorcycle list!!! 2009 Victory Vision Tour, Red, 64,916 miles, $6,999 OUT THE DOOR!!!

2011 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra, Black, 26,213 miles, $15,499 OUT THE DOOR!!!

2012 Victory Cross Roads, Sunset Red, 9,632 miles, $10,499 OUT THE DOOR!!!

2010 Victory Vegas 8-Ball, Black, 16,891 miles, $7,499 OUT THE DOOR!!!

2009 Harley-Davidson Street Glide, Black, 3,170 miles, $14,999 OUT THE DOOR!!!

2009 Kawasaki Vulcan® 1700 Nomad, Black, 3,170 miles, $7,499 OUT THE DOOR!!!

2011 Yamaha V Star Custom, Black, 3,065 miles, $3,999 OUT THE DOOR!!!

1979 Honda GL1000 Gold Wing, Burgundy, 48,225 miles, $3,249 OUT THE DOOR!!!

2005 Suzuki V-Strom 1000, Black, 16,881 miles, $4,499 OUT THE DOOR!!!

2012 Honda Shadow Phantom, Black, 4,725 miles, $5,249 OUT THE DOOR!!!

2008 Suzuki Boulevard M50, Two tone paint 12,569 miles, $3,999 OUT THE DOOR!!!

2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 Classic, Black, 16,054 miles, $5,999 OUT THE DOOR!!!

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Midwest Motorcyclist™, January 17 issue  

In this issue: Motorcycles Highlight the Fall 2016 Slimey Crud Run by P.J. Francis; The Last Ride of 2016 by Ray Peabody; The Preacher Speak...