Motorcycle Headlines and Upcoming Events: U.S. Sales Top a Million; Motorcycle Airbags; Yamaha's 50th; Helmets Fail DOT Tests; Helmet Laws Mulled; Rocket III Recall.

Sales continue to climb. Do old guys need big instrument markings to avoid crashing? Is your helmet good enough? Rider training questions in California. Yamaha celebrates 50 years. And Daytona is on the way.

U.S. Motorcycle Sales Topped a Million in 2004
American's haven't bought that many motorcycles in one year for a quarter-century. But have they peaked? Harley, Victory, Triumph, and BMW have all reported record or near-record motorcycle sales in 2004. And women continue play an increasing prominent role in the sales figures. However, Triumph is still recovering from its factory fire and the declining value of the U.S. dollar (which hurts profits of all imported or partially imported bikes) means reduced profit from its sales of Rocket IIIs in the U.S., all of which adds up to red ink.
CNN/Money
USA Today
Businesswire
CNN/MoneyIndianapolis Star, IN
Black Mountain News, NC
Harley-Davidson Release
Businesswire
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA
Inside Bike, UK
Milwaukee Business Journal, WI
The Car Connection
CNN Money
SmartMoney
MSN Money
Forbes
The Villager, TX
Auto Industry, UK
Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN

Honda Reported Developing Motorcycle Airbags
Since there is confirmation by Honda for this story, we view it with some skepticism, especially since questions remain about any protective system that attaches to the motorcycle rather than the rider.
Big News Network, Australia
Jamaica Observer

**Yamaha Celebrates 50 Years **
Yamaha will turn 50 this year. The company is celebrating in a number of way. It has lauched an anniversay website (see below) and will mark the anniversary with events throughout the year, including activities at the U.S. MotoGP to be held July 8-10 at Laguna Seca raceway in Monterey California.
Yamaha 50th Anniversary Site
Cycle News, CA

Eight Helmets Fail 2004 DOT Testing
Actually there were a few more that failed, but they just failed for labeling issues, not performance. Eight helmets from MDS, NEXL, NXT, Rodia, Vemar and Zamp failed for performance (marked with a P in the "Failure Mode" column on the NHTSA site) according to the chart of 2004 testing results from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Motorcyclist Online
NHTSA FMVSS 218 Test Results

Older Riders Continue to Produce Worrisome Fatality Numbers
The number of older riders is going up and so is the number of them dying on motorcycles. But which number is going up faster?
Motor Cycle News, UK
Press-Enterprise, CA

MRF Views MSF Actions on Rider Training with Alarm
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation, a bikers' rights group, thinks that the Motorcycle Safety Foundation is harming California's rider training program.
Motorcycle Riders Foundation

**Helmet Laws on State Legislative Agendas **
Two things are certain about helmet laws. One is that they prevent life-changing injuries and deaths. The other is that they are unpopular with many motorcyclists. Some states are proposing new helmet laws, while other states have bills to repeal or water down existing ones.

**Triumph Recalling Some Rocket IIIs **
About 1000 bikes with VINs from 205267 to 216401 are being recalled to fix a problem in the sfat-drive system, which could seize and cause rear-wheel lock-up. We'd certainly check the shaft-drive area for leaks before riding one.
Motor Cycle News, UK

**Swift Justice for Cambodian Bikejacker **
A man who stabbed a motorcycle-taxi operator (who later died) and took his bike was surrounded and beaten to death by a mob
Melbourne Herald Sun, Australia
Motor Cycle News, UK

For more breaking motorcycle news, visit the home page of www.MotorcycleCruiser.com.