Go Naked at Daytona? Bikes Use Less Fuel Than Top Hybrids, Yamaha's Chinese Chopper Trouble - Motorcycle News Roundup

Motorcycle news summary for January 24, 2006

Daytona Bike Week 2006: Go Naked
A court threw out a Daytona Beach law against public nudity and nudity in places that sell alcohol. If you decide to ride naked, just don't crash.
Los Angeles Times, CA
Daytona Beach News-Journal
Seattle Post Intelligencer
Pardon My English

Does Your Bike Get Better Mileage than a Hybrid Car?
Consumer Reports tests of real-world fuel mileage found that the thriftiest car, the Toyota Prius, gets 44 mpg in all-around use. Lots of motorcycles can beat that.
Consumer Affairs

Harley-Davidson Books 20th Consecutive Year of Growth
Its fourth-quarter profit was up almost 10%. However, U.S. sales in the fourth quarter of 2005, when new models arrived, was only up 0.7 percent.
MSN Money
San Francisco Chronicle, CA
Canada East, Canada

Are Fuel Prices Still Driving Motorcycle Sales?
With gas parked above $2.00 and rising, saving money on fuel is least a good excuse to buy the bike you always wanted. However, if you ride a 45-mpg bike instead of a 15-mpg car, you could save over $1700 a year in fuel costs if you ride it 20,000 miles that you would otherwise do in a car and if you pay $2.00 per gallon. Unleaded is currently at an average of $2.32 nationwide.

Or Maybe It's Women
Is this the long-anticipated arrival of the woman rider? This article also has some general demographic information on American motorcyclists.
Detroit Free Press, MI

Yamaha in Trouble in Japan over Sales of Choppers to China
They are the helicopter kind of choppers, specifically ten unmanned helicopters, which have potential military uses (they are used for spraying crops, so they could also be used as delivery systems for biological or chemical agents). As a result, Yamaha faces potential criminal charges over their export and fines of up to $700,000. Of course, 1000 or so have been sold in the domestic civilian market, so somebody who wants one can certainly get it. The company's stock price dropped 8% on the news.
Asahi Shimbun, Japan
Viploan, UK
Japan Times
Yamaha Helicopters
Asahi Shimbun, Japan
Enjoy France
The Aero News Network
Yamaha Press Release

As Harley Opens First Chinese Dealership
At least the first one since the country went communist. Of course, selling $20,000 motorcycles in a country where the average annual salary is about a third of that may be a bit of work.
Greensboro News Record, NC

Florida Unhelmeted Insurance Increase Plan Fades Away
There was talk of requiring unhelmeted riders to carry $50,000 insurance, but the idea seems to have been dropped because finding such policies is very difficult because insurers aren't keen on taking on the risk. This development has increased calls for a new helmet law.
The Lakeland Ledger, FL
Daytona Beach News-Journal, FL
The News-Press, FL

NHTSA Releases Final 2004 Traffic Safety Facts Report
The relevant pages are 95 and 96, where tables 49 and 50 once againt confirm that the most likely impact point in a fatal crash is a vehicle that's in front of you.
NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts 2004

New NHTSA Administrator
Motorcyclist groups hope that the former lobbyist will help stem the rising number of motorcyclist deaths on U.S. highways. Ralph Nader has called the NHTSA a "consulting agency to Detroit."
Consumer Affairs
AMA DirectLink

Motorcyclists Most at Risk for Spinal Injuries, Study Says
The report simply complies the statistics, which finds that most spinal-injury victims are men, and that car and motorcycle accidents are the most common causes. It doesn't offer any advice on how to avoid such injuries.
The Age, Australia

Honda's Four-Wheel Scooter
What you'll ride when you give up motorcycles.
Honda World News

2006 Kawasaki Eliminator Recalled
The triple clamp pinch bolts may not provide enough clamping pressure on the fork tube.

HOG Rally Leaves Town, So Town Rolls Its Own
Instead of hosting a HOG rally at what it says would be a loss, West Branch, in Northeast Michigan, will host an all-brands rally.
MLive. MI

Motorcycle Club Sues Town Over Ride Ban
The town of Jamaica, Vermont had passed an ordinance to keep motorcycles off their dirt roads, but the ordinance hadn't gone into effect when the local cops threatened to arrest anyone who rode on the roads and impound and auction their bike. The Vermont attorney general has already criticized the town's action.

Is this the new look of Daytona Bike Week?
Yamaha's UAV 'copters are about 12 feet long.
Honda Monpal Scooter