Motorcycle Headlines: Honda's Sales Gains, Loud Pipes Draw Laws, Smooth Laughlin

Recent motorcycle news stories.

High-speed chase means no law-enforcement career for would-be cop. MAACP thinks Myrtle Beach places the race card during two bike weeks. When is speeding on the wrong side of road without a driver's license not reckless? Mandatory training might be on the way up north, along with a cellphone ban. Speeding could cost you your motorcycle. Are ape-hangers coming back? New Hampshire unveils its $100,000 safety program. Would you want to be caught dead in a "novelty" helmet?

Laughlin Run Runs Smoothly
There were pleasing statistics from the Laughlin River Run, which saw half as many motorcycle thefts as there were last year. Arrests were also down by over a third from 2004, even though attendance was apparently up.
Las Vegas Sun, NV

**Honda Sold More Bikes Here Last Quarter, Fewer Last Year **
Honda has released its financial statement for the first quarter of 2005, and in contrast to Harley (which saw a 1% drop in sales in the first quarter), Honda's first-quarter sales in North America were up about 1.5%, from 227,000 to 230,000 units. However, its North American sales for the year ending March 2005 were down almost 2%, from 656,000 to 643,000. (Those figures include ATVs.) Its motorcycle sales worldwide (which includes many small motorcycles in other markets) rose from 9.2 million to almost 10.5 million.
Honda Sales Breakdown

Is Myrtle Beach's Black Bike Week Traffic Plan Racist?
Why does the city of Myrtle Beach have different traffic plans for its spring "Harley Bike Week" and its Black Bike Week on Memorial Day weekend? Both used to have the same arrangement, but the Harley week was changed back to the standard pattern after participants complained. Complaints from Black Bike Week attendees haven't brought the same response. Is that discrimination? The NAACP thinks so and is asking a judge to change it.
Myrtle Beach Sun News, SC
WCNC TV, NC
WIS, TV

Noise Still Annoys
Loud bikes have become more common in many areas, prompting more complaints—and more legal attention.Minneapolis Star Tribune, MNPortsmouth Herald, NHWXOW TV, WIBonita News, FLUnion Leader, NHSun Sentinel, FLHampton Union, NHDuluth News Tribune, MN

And So Does Speeding
Speeding, noise, aggressive driving, and crashes are attracting police attention in various areas around the country. The Santa Monica Mountains, west of Los Angeles, are getting special attention, with vehicle confiscations being considered.
KNBC, CA
Ventura County Star, CA
North County Times, CA
Pioneer Press, MN
209542825087,00.html">Los Angeles Daily News, CA
La Canada Valley Sun, CA

New Mexico Teen's Killer Crash Creates Rift between States
A 15-year-old who was driving without a license, going multiple times the speed limit, crossed the centerline and killed two Colorado motorcyclists wasn't "reckless" according the New Mexico police officials and won't face charges. Colorado motorcyclists are understandably outraged. They plan to boycott motorcycle events in New Mexico, starting with a Memorial Day event. New Mexico officials are begging forgiveness.
KOAT TV, NM
Albuquerque Journal, NM
1502829287,00.html">Denver Post, CO
Santa Fe New Mexican, NM
532833348,00.html">Denver Post, CO (Scroll down)
Sangre de Cristo Chronicle, NM
Albuquerque Journal, NM
Albuquerque Journal, NM
532822246,00.html">Denver Post, CO
KOB TV, NM
ABATE of Colorado

Ape Hangers May Be Legal Again in NY
Recently introduced legislation would permit shoulder-high handlebars.
Times Herald-Record, NY

New Hampshire Unveils Safety Plan
Just in time for Motorcyclist Awareness Month.
Foster's Daily Democrat, NH

Novelty Helmets Don't Work
There is not enough information in these stories to know if head injuries killed this rider, who was also riding without a motorcycle endorsement (a common trait among dead riders), but if he did, an inexpensive DOT helmet could have saved him.
WDSU TV, LA
KWTX TV, TX

Canada Ponders Mandatory Training, Driver Cellphone Ban
New riders have a "casualty crash" rate of 7%, and Canada is wondering if training might cut that. It is also considering banning the use of cellphones by all drivers.
Canoe, Canada

Advice to Aspiring Cops: No High-Speed Chases
This Florida rider wanted to join the Highway Patrol and work with the same guys who watched him speed past every day, allegedly going as fast as 140 mph. Before he could take the physical, however, the cops decided they had had enough of his antics and went after him in a chase that reportedly included him going 100 mph the wrong way. He might have gotten away except for his dog. His arrest means he is no longer eleigible to be a cop.
Sun-Sentinel.com, FL
The Ledger, FL

Now That's Police Protection!
When two bikes were stolen from his garage, this rider got a real response—including a helicopter—from the police, who quickly found the bikes and made two arrestes.Motor Cycle News, UK

If you have questions or comments about the stories referred to here or know of an article or event that you think we should include, email _Motorcycle Cruiser's web editor at _ Art.Friedman@primedia.com _or at _ ArtoftheMotorcycle@hotmail.com.

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