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Weather 101

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Weather Trivia

Dust Storm Safety on the Bike The months of May and June can be challenging when riding. Bikers should be

aware that dust storms are still very prevalent this time of year. In fact, some of the worst dust storms created by strong thunderstorms can occur during this time period. It’s always good to know how to safely maneuver during a dust storm if you are on the roads. According to the National Weather Service, dust storms or Haboobs are created by strong thunderstorms that can last for about 30 minutes dropping visibilities to zero in no time. If you encounter these dramatic and dangerous storms it is best to: 1. Pull off the road 2. Park the bike and get off 3. Turn off your lights Many motorcyclists will keep their lights on while pulling off the road. Do not do this. Drivers coming up from the rear will think they can follow the vehicle with the lights on and will leave the road causing a rear collision. This could be catastrophic. Please pull as far to the right of the road as possible.

We should all pay attention to the latest watches and warnings issued by our weather folks. A dust storm or sand storm warning means that visibility will be ½ mile or less due to blowing dust and or sand. Wind speeds of 30 miles per hour or more will occur as well. This can be very serious even though folks think “it’s only blowing dust and sand!”

Photo: Youtube/Jamie Gerdes

By: “Doppler” Dave Speelman

What percentage of lightning injuries and or fatalities occur while folks are outdoors? A. B. C. D.

30% 65% 78% 90%

Catch 'Doppler' Dave Speelman on KVIA Channel 7 or online at for your most accurate weather reports. Answer: C – 78%

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and I think it boils down to adapting to change. You simply cannot use the same game plan for 20,000+ people that you used for 2,000 people in 1993.” said Doug Rodgers, Chief Marketing Officer of the Rally. “The Rally has experienced strong and steady growth year after year with 2017 being no exception, yielding one of the biggest crowds to date. According to social media and trending reports, 2018 is slated to be even bigger and better.”

The Sturgis Kentucky Bike Rally is scheduled for July 19--22, 2018.

Sturgis Kentucky Bike Rally

The Sturgis Kentucky Bike Rally is an annual rally held on the 3rd weekend in July in the small western Kentucky town of Sturgis. Regardless if you’ve never been or are a seasoned veteran, you are guaranteed to have a good time.

Thousands of people set up tents, campers, and RV’s over tons of acreage at the Union County Fairgrounds and Expo Center. (The address for GPS is 125 Pryor Boulevard, Sturgis Kentucky, 42459). The grounds are beautiful in themselves; there is a lake in the back part of the Fairgrounds as well as a 9--hole golf course. Most importantly, there is plenty of room for the likes of each person or group. (Shade, no shade, lakeside, near others, away from others, etc) There are also free taxi shuttles available to take you to and from events and areas if you choose.

During the day, there are plenty of delicious food and unique merchandise vendors to peruse. There are also Bike Games in an indoor air--conditioned arena, Dirt Drags, Poker Runs, and free, hot showers! On Saturday, there is a 24--class Bike Show that yield some of the best looking bikes from around the country. During the evening and night, live bands and top--notch entertainers take to the main stage and put on great performances. (Former entertainers have included Jackyl, Full Throttle Rockstar Girls, Sons of Anarchy stars Ryan “Opie” Hurst and Tommy “Chibs” Flanagan, the Flaunt Girls, Torch Fire Performer, Saving Abel, Blackberry Smoke, Black Stone Cherry, The Cherry Bombs, The Kentucky Headhunters, Colt Ford and many more) There are also late--night, fun and sexy contests.

Safety and Security are prevalent in the fact that Licensed EMT’s and trained professional security personnel are available if needed. Additional resources include ice and water trucks that roam the grounds, trash pickup throughout the day, and a stationary, centrally located Information Center. When entering the Rally, maps and schedules are given to each patron. Included are a map of the fairgrounds, local eateries, local places of interest, a schedule of events, etc. Additional information can be found at and on Facebook (Kentucky Bike Rally). “I am often asked what we do different from others to make ours so successful,

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Harley Offers Free Motorcycle to interns

Harley-Davidson is offering a free motorcycle and a summer of riding to interns

in its #findyourfreedom program. The positions require learning to ride, then exploring America's motorcycle culture by riding across the country. The interns also will share their experiences on social media as part of the company's marketing effort. Interns completing the 12-week program get to keep their motorcycles. Positions are open to college juniors and seniors, as well as recent graduates. More information is available on Harley-Davidson’s website:

The State of Racing

Navigating a diverse landscape May 25, 2018 | By Rob Dingman

The American Motorcyclist Association is a complex organization that is involved in a wide variety of business activities. One of the most misunderstood aspects of the AMA is our involvement in professional motorcycle racing.

The AMA is a nonprofit membership organization with a for-profit subsidiary called Paradama, named that because when it was created, it represented a new paradigm for the AMA. Paradama, which did business as AMA Pro Racing, had its own board of directors as well as an independent CEO. In January 1995, all professional racing activity conducted by the AMA came under the control of Paradama and remained there until its board was dissolved and the Paradama CEO was dismissed in 2006. I came into my current position after this change at the end of 2006.

At that time, professional racing activities generated a lot of revenue for the AMA, but associated expenses were even greater. Not only was the AMA losing money on professional racing, but the organization had endured years of negative press and tremendous controversy due to the AMA’s management of professional racing. Much of that controversy stemmed from the AMA’s dual role as both sanctioning body and commercial race series promoter.

This is an area that is also widely misunderstood. With respect to racing, the AMA is first and foremost a motorcycle race sanctioning body. That means the AMA licenses racers and crew, approves motorcycles for competition, develops the rules of competition, provides the rulebooks that contain those rules and provides the officials who enforce those rules. The AMA also manages the adjudication process for riders who may disagree with how rules are enforced.

As a series promoter for professional motorcycle racing, the AMA had been responsible for raising sponsorship, arranging and paying for television coverage, and incurring all the other expenses associated with promoting and running various professional motorcycle racing series.

Being both the sanctioning body and series promoter created a conflict. Even the mere perception that commercial interests could affect rules enforcement degrades the integrity of the sanctioning body. Once the integrity is called into question, series sponsorship becomes less desirable and commercial value shrinks.

To address this situation, the AMA Board sought commercial partners for each of the various disciplines of professional motorcycle racing so the AMA could continue in its role as sanctioning body without the encumbrance of also being a commercial race promoter. This was working well for the AMA in the case of AMA Supercross, which served as a model to aspire to for the management of the other disciplines. Ultimately, one group sought to acquire all of the AMA’s racing activities. In

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2008, the AMA agreed to sell the rights to professional Flat Track, Road Racing, Supermoto, Hillclimb, Motocross and Supercross to the Daytona Motorsports Group. With its newly acquired assets, DMG began doing business as AMA Pro Racing. Because DMG bought professional racing assets from the AMA rather than buy Paradama (which itself had been doing business as AMA Pro Racing), the lines between the AMA and DMG became very blurry to many.

There is even less clarity due to various changes since 2008, but allow me to shed some light with a discipline-by-discipline explanation of the current situation:

AMA Hillclimb is owned by DMG, but it is being managed by a group of hillclimb promoters under contract with DMG. AMA Flat Track is owned and operated by DMG. In 2017, the AMA professional flat track series was rebranded as American Flat Track, which is also sanctioned by DMG, currently doing business as AMA Pro Racing.

AMA Motocross is owned by DMG but is being operated under contract with MX Sports Pro Racing, which currently serves as both the series promoter and sanctioning body, although the sanctioning is being done under the guise of AMA Pro Racing.

AMA Supercross was one of the disciplines transferred to DMG in the 2008 asset sale. However, since the AMA had a long-term contract with series promoter Feld Entertainment, which required the AMA to provide sanctioning services through 2019, it was agreed that the AMA would continue its involvement in AMA Supercross. The AMA is currently working on agreements that will keep the AMA involved in AMA Supercross for many years to come. AMA Supercross is unique in that, in addition to being sanctioned by the AMA, it is also co-sanctioned by the FIM as a world championship. Because the AMA is the sole U.S. member federation of the FIM, the AMA’s continued involvement in AMA Supercross is a practical necessity.

AMA Supermoto has reverted to the AMA by the terms of the original sale agreement because DMG elected not to conduct an AMA Pro Supermoto series. The existing AMA Supermoto National Championship Series offers a range of amateur classes, but it is not a pro series.

AMA Road Racing was owned by DMG until 2014, when the sanctioning, promotional and commercial rights to professional motorcycle road racing in America were reacquired by the AMA through a deal between DMG and the KRAVE Group, headed by AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend Wayne Rainey. The KRAVE Group owns and operates the MotoAmerica Series, sanctioned by the AMA. MotoAmerica also holds the rights to promote the AMA Superbike Championship.

AMA off-road racing in its many forms falls under the purview of the AMA. This activity has never left the AMA and continues to be a significant part of AMA racing programs.

AMA amateur racing is and always will be owned by the AMA. Amateur racing is the lifeblood of this organization.

While this summary provides an overview of the motorcycle racing landscape in America, relationships remain complex. Whether a particular discipline is owned by the AMA or another entity, be assured that the AMA remains actively involved in protecting and supporting all forms of motorcycle racing. Rob Dingman is AMA President and CEO.

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AMA News & Notes: June 2018

National and Regional News WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Reps. Austin Scott (R-Ga.) and Lois Frankel (DFla.) introduced the "Consumer Protection and Fuel Transparency Act of 2018” in the U.S. House (H.R. 5855). The American Motorcyclist Association supports this bipartisan bill. The AMA has repeatedly warned of the dangers of E15 (15 percent ethanol by volume) for motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles because none of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles in use in the United States is certified by the Environmental Protection Agency to operate on fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol. Inadvertent use of E15 in vehicles not designed for its use can damage fuel system and engine components and void manufacturer's warranties. This legislation would require the EPA to revise the labeling requirements for fuel pumps that dispense E15 and conduct a consumer education campaign to inform the public about the risks of improper use of E15 and the vehicles and equipment that are prohibited from using E15. To learn more and send a prewritten message to your representative, click here.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Motorcyclist traffic fatalities were down 5.6 percent in 2017, with 296 fewer deaths than in 2016, according to a preliminary report issued in May by the Governors Highway Safety Administration. The report, Motorcyclist Traffic Fatalities by State: 2017 Preliminary Data, projected that 4,990 people died in motorcycle crashes during 2017. Among the leading factors cited as contributing to motorcycle crashes: alcohol or drug impairment, distraction and the aging riding population. The GHSA said more states are considering ignition interlocks to reduce impaired driving. The group also is advocating for universal helmet laws. The AMA strongly encourages helmet use but believes that adults should have the right to voluntarily decide when to wear a helmet. PORTLAND, Ore. — The Pacific Northwest Region of the U.S. Forest Service has launched of a region-wide mobile app, the Pacific Northwest Forests app. The specialized software program will help the public find hiking trails, camping, picnicking, boating areas and more by using their cell phones’ GPS capabilities. This mobile app allows visitors to discover recreational opportunities near them and serves as a complement to the Forest Service’s traditional website. For more information and to download the app, click here.

State News OCEANO, Calif. — The foredunes of the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area will be closed by Sept. 15 as part of a dust-pollution control plan approved by the San Luis Obispo County, Calif., Air Pollution Control District Hearing Board. The agreement between the Air Pollution Control District and California State Parks, which manages the recreation area, calls for reducing dust emissions by 50 percent during the coming five years. The intention is to reduce the amount of dust that drifts into nearby communities. During the coming year the agencies will work together on a plan, conduct public hearings, involve a scientific advisory committee and increase monitoring. According to, the approved agreement calls for closing the foredunes area and replanting it so it will return to the conditions depicted in a 1930s aerial photograph.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — State officials, as part of the Strategic Highway Safety Plan, are surveying motorcyclists to compile a list of possible locations for motorcycle barrier installations. The survey form is designed to collect as much information as possible about specific locations on the State Highway System where this safer barrier technology may be considered. The information collected will be given to the state Traffic Safety Office. Forms may be downloaded at Forms must

completed and emailed to by July 1, with the subject line "RE: SHSP Motorcycle Challenge Area Survey Form." Be sure to provide very specific information. The more information the state has, the better officials can respond to your input.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Gov. Larry Hogan signed into law S.B. 606, which creates within the state Department of Natural Resources an Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle Trail Fund and authorizes the transfer of about $750,000 a year from the Transportation Trust Fund to the trail fund. The new law allows that money to be spent only on ORV trails. The revenue is generated from the title tax paid when ATVs, side-by-sides and dirt bikes are bought. In past years, the funds were spent for highway maintenance. The bill was backed by the Maryland Motorcycle Dealers Association and the Maryland Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance.

WASHOE COUNTY, Nev. — The Washoe County Sheriff's Office has developed a free phone app that makes it easy to report illegal dumping. "One of the elements of that app is an illegal dumping reporting system," said department spokesman Bob Harmon. "And it's very simple. You open the app, you push the illegal dumping option, and really all it asks you to do is take a picture and send it in." The photo submitted will include GPS coordinates, so authorities can find the dump site. To download the app, just go to your phone's app store and type in Washoe County Sheriff's Office.

LEWIS COUNTY, N.Y. — Officials may be headed for a battle with the state over one village's decision to allow ATVs to use its streets, according to a report in the Watertown Daily Times. In May, state Supreme Court Judge Peter A. Schwerzmann found that the village of Constableville violated state law when it allowed ATVs access to public roads. For county officials, ATVs represent an economic development opportunity. Many ATV enthusiasts have built seasonal homes in the area to use the Lewis County ATV Trail System, according to the newspaper report. The town of Leyden, also in Lewis County, enacted an ordinance similar to the one in Constableville. The next move would be for Constableville to appeal the court's ruling.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced new public involvement in charting the future course of Pennsylvania’s state forests. The effort began May 31, when Sproul State Forest District hosted the first of 20 public meetings across the state. Dates and locations of other district public meetings will be announced locally in the future. The public meetings will focus on specifics of district plans and aid the bureau in revising its District State Forest Resource Management Plans. A DSFRMP is written for each of the bureau’s 20 forest districts across the state. Both the district-level and statewide plans are designed to provide bureau staff a framework for work and management decisions and to communicate to stakeholders how their forest is being managed. District plans build upon the foundation of the state-wide plan, while providing a greater level of detail and more focus on district-level priorities. A complete schedule of district public meetings can be found on the State Forest Resource Management Plan website.

CAMERON COUNTY, Texas — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service closed Boca Chica Beach at Boca Chica State Park to ATVs and off-highway vehicles. The affected area includes the dunes, tidal flats and beach. Boca Chica is part of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, which in turn is part of the USFWS South Texas Refuge Complex. The ban does not affect beach access for passenger cars and trucks, though it does target specific types of recreational vehicles designed for off-highway use. Violators will be subject to fines and forfeiture of their vehicles.

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Custom motorcycle builders featured at 2018 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days Seven custom motorcycle builders will have some of their best work on display

during 2018 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, July 6-8. The builder displays will be part of the Old Bike Barn Crossroads in the infield area of the facility.

Yamaha Announces Price and Availability for 2019 Tracer 900 and Tracer 900 GT

Cypress, CA – June 6, 2018 – Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA, today announced price and availability information for the versatile 2019 Tracer 900 and Tracer 900 GT Sport Touring motorcycles that were introduced in November.

2019 Tracer 900 Set to replace the company’s existing FJ-09 model for 2019, the Tracer 900 features several updates and refinements while continuing to offer performance, versatility and value. Authorized Yamaha dealers will begin receiving the 2019 Tracer 900 this month (June), and it will be available in Armor Gray for the MSRP of $10,699. 2019 Tracer 900 GT A premium-packaged model, the Tracer 900 GT includes color-matched hard side cases, a quick shift system (QSS), cruise control, suspension upgrades, Thin Film Transistor (TFT) instrument panel, heated grips and more. It will also arrive at dealerships beginning in June, and it will be available in Raven for the MSRP of $12,999. Genuine Yamaha Accessories

A full range of Genuine Yamaha Accessories for the new 2019 Tracer 900 and Tracer 900 GT, including a rear rack and top cases in two different sizes, can be found at

Making tomorrow’s memories on the roads of life.

Whether riding solo for the commute to work or spending weeks crossing the continent with a passenger and luggage, Yamaha’s Sport Touring motorcycles provide a world of opportunity to make memories that will last a lifetime. Combining outstanding sport performance, all-around versatility and serious long-distance ability, Yamaha’s Sport Touring lineup is designed to appeal to a wide range of riders who are looking to enjoy the many new experiences, places and people that they will discover when traveling the Roads of Life.

To find out more about the new 2019 Tracer 900 and Tracer 900 GT, visit

Teresa and Eric Bess of Flying Tiger Motorcycles at 2017 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Photo by Jeff Guciardo for the American Motorcyclist Association

"We are expecting to see some very cool and unique builds this year," said AMA Chief Operations Officer Jeff Massey. "These builders provide a great mix of approaches and vision and include a wide range of motorcycle styles." Featured this year are: Analog Motorcycles, Chicago—Small accessory installations to full custom bike builds, powder coating and fabricating (

Federal Moto, Chicago—One-of-a-kind motorcycles and goods for the everyday adventurer (

Loaded Gun Customs, Selbyville, Del.—Custom builds by Kevin Dunworth (

Flying Tiger Moto, Maplewood, Mo.—Products designed and handmade inhouse (

Moto-Fied Cycles, Milwaukee—Custom bikes that are affordable and built to ride every day (

Jesse Spade, Atlanta—Custom motorcycles, with a focus on naked sport bikes (

Krossover Customs, Lancaster, Ky.—Custom paint and fabrication (

Sun City Biker - June 2018  

El Paso's Motorcycle Magazine

Sun City Biker - June 2018  

El Paso's Motorcycle Magazine