News for May 5-10, 2008

AMA Museum hosts MotoStars, Harley-Davidson Museum to finally open

Sure there's Americade, The Hoot, Laconia and Sturgis, but sometimes you want a two-wheel vibe without all that attendant thunder - a place to ride to, drink up the motorcycle-friendly surroundings and just laze around in the summer breeze. Luckily, you'll be able to choose from more than a few such locales this summer. The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum in Ohio has a whole host of exhibits and activities lined on the summer slate (plus it's just revealed its Class of 2008) and Harley's announced its museum's grand opening date.

So ride forth and chill.

(The official releases follow)

HARLEY-DAVIDSON MUSEUM ANNOUNCES GRAND OPENING

MILWAUKEE (May, 2008) - Nearly 105 years in the making, the Harley-Davidson Museum near downtown Milwaukee will open its doors to the public on Saturday, July 12. Grand Opening festivities will kick off with a Harley-Davidson-style ceremony at 10 a.m. and will continue throughout the weekend.

The 130,000-square-foot Museum will add a whole new dimension to the Harley-Davidson experience. Visitors will get a feel for the freedom, camaraderie and pride that Harley-Davidson riders experience every time they fire up their motorcycles.

Museum visitors will:

  • Walk through a variety of exhibits that tell the stories of the extraordinary people, products, history and culture of Harley-Davidson. In addition to the fantastic motorcycle collection, stories are told through a variety of media - including photographs, videos, apparel, rare documents and other fascinating artifacts.
  • Peek into a portion of the Archives, never before open to the public, and home base to more than 450 motorcycles, and hundreds of thousands of artifacts that the Archives team can pull from for Museum exhibits
  • Read the various personalized messages created by individuals worldwide on the Living the Legend rivets, found on the Living the Legend walls and plazas
  • Grab a bold American meal or snack from the on-site Restaurant and Cafe
  • Stroll around the 20 acre Museum site, enjoy the riverwalk or just sit back along the waterfront taking in the Milwaukee skyline
  • Check out the unique Museum-inspired items at the Retail Store
  • Examine the industrial architecture and attention to detail found both inside and outside of the Museum's three buildings

The Harley-Davidson Museum, located at the intersection of Sixth and Canal Streets in Milwaukee's Menomonee Valley, will be open 364 days a year.

General admission tickets to tour the Museum are $16 for adults, $12 for students and seniors, $10 for children (ages 5-17 years), and children under 5 years of age will be admitted free with an accompanying adult. Visit www.h-dmuseum.com for additional updates on group sales and tour information. Access to the Harley-Davidson Museum grounds will be available to the public, free of charge, 24 hours a day.

Museum tickets for Grand Opening weekend and other dates will go on sale online at www.h-dmuseum.com/tickets on Tuesday, May 20. The majority of tickets for Grand Opening weekend will be sold in advance online and the balance will be available for on-site sales during Grand Opening weekend. Visitors to the Museum site during Grand Opening weekend will be able to enjoy watching a bike-build and a tattoo artist at work and listen to live music on the 20-acre park-like grounds. Museum tickets are no longer available during the Harley-Davidson 105th Anniversary Celebration August 28-31, 2008. To ensure an excellent Museum experience during the 105th Anniversary Celebration, tickets to the Museum have been distributed via a lottery system to those who purchased their 105th Anniversary Celebration ticket packages before November 30, 2007. Those who are planning to come to Milwaukee during the 105th Anniversary who don't have a Museum ticket will be able to enjoy the Museum grounds. In addition, those who would like to visit the Museum exhibits and didn't receive a ticket through the lottery can secure opportunities to visit the Museum before and after the Labor Day weekend.

Jimmie Johnson Bike at the Motorcycle Hall Of Fame Museum

The new "MotoStars: Celebrities + Motorcycles" exhibit at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum opens June 28, 2008, spotlighting over 100 of the country's most passionate celebrity moto enthusiasts, their motorcycles and personal memorabilia. Among them is Jimmie Johnson, the two-time reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion, whose Jimmie Johnson Foundation (JJF) has green flagged the inclusion of a special 2008 Star Motorcycles Warrior, customized by 2Xtreem Motorcycle TV and sponsored by Sunoco (). The motorcycle, which was built as a tribute to the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, will be showcased in the exhibit until August 15, 2008.

Following its pit stop at the Museum, the motorcycle will be auctioned off at the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Annual Golf Tournament in San Diego on August 26, 2008. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the San Diego Habitat for Humanity. Visit to learn more about the JJF and the organization's events

Two and four-wheeled devotees can tune in to 2Xtreem Motorcycle TV during May to watch the show's crew build the custom JJF tribute motorcycle. Johnson even stops by 2Xtreem to take the machine for a test ride. Airdates and show times can be found at . Enthusiasts should also plan a visit to the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum in Pickerington, Ohio, for a chance to admire the JJF tribute motorcycle in person, as well as motorcycles and memorabilia from other well-known athletes, musician, actors, artists, builders and industry leaders. The ribbon-cutting for "MotoStars: Celebrities + Motorcycles" is Saturday, June 28. Visit for more information and information on how to join in on opening weekend festivities.

Jimmie Johnson and the JJF tribute bike, with crew of 2Xtreem TV.

Motorcycle Hall of Fame Announces 2008 Inductees

PICKERINGTON, OHIO - The Motorcycle Hall of Fame, home to the stories and legends of American motorcycling heritage, is pleased to announce the selection of six individuals for induction. The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2008 includes Vaughn Beals, Rod Coates, Scot Harden, Larry "Supermouth" Huffman, Terry Poovey and Rolf Tibblin. The annual induction ceremony will take place Saturday evening, October 11, 2008, at the Hilton Polaris in Columbus, Ohio.

Each year, the Motorcycle Hall of Fame ensures that the accomplishments of motorcycling's legends and leaders are permanently captured to inspire future generations of enthusiasts. The 2008 inductees join a distinguished group of over 300 men and women who have played a vital role in shaping the vibrant nature of the sport and business of motorcycling, thanks to their competitive spirit, passion, vision and entrepreneurship.

Held during Hall of Fame Weekend, the formal induction ceremony brings together hundreds of industry leaders, friends and family to celebrate the honorees' lives. In addition to receiving the distinguished gold Motorcycle Hall of Fame Medal signaling a lifetime of achievement, each inductee will be permanently featured in the Museum's Hall of Fame gallery.

The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2008 includes:

Vaughn Beals - An insightful executive, Beals was instrumental in paving the way for The Motor Company to prosper. He led the leveraged buyout of the company from former owner AMF, then served as Chief Executive Officer of Harley-Davidson from 1981-1989 and as Chairman from 1981-1996. Since 1996, he has served as Chairman Emeritus. Throughout his tenure, Beals' vision helped reinvigorate Harley-Davidson and elevate the company and brand to an iconic status.

Rod Coates - A racer and businessman, Rod Coates was a pioneer throughout his career. Following World War II, he sold Ariel, BMW, Triumph and Vincent motorcycles before the companies established official U.S. distributors. In racing, Coates won the 1950 Daytona 100-mile race on a Triumph Grand Prix 500cc Twin and went on to serve on various AMA racing committees. As Service Manager of The Triumph Corporation, Triumph's Eastern U.S. distributor from 1951-1970, Coates created the company's Service Schools for dealer technician training, later emulated by other bike importers; influenced the Triumph factory to offer numerous features to improve the quality and performance of its machines; and organized and led the company's Competition Department, sponsoring racers Ed Fisher, Don Burnett and Gary Nixon.

Scot Harden - One of off-road racing's most influential champions, Scot Harden has achieved victory across the United States, Europe and South America during a career that has spanned nearly 35 years. Notably, Harden has two overall wins at the prestigious Baja 1000 and is a three-time ISDE medalist. Additionally, he was the winner of the 1987 Djerba 500 Rally - Tunisia and winner of the 1987 Rallye de Atlas - Morocco. Harden's work in the powersport industry has allowed him to help shape younger stars, including Dan Smith, Danny Hamel and Russ Pearson. Harden has worked in sales, marketing, and race management roles at Husqvarna, Cagiva, KTM, and at the helm of his own company, Harden Off-Road.

Larry "Supermouth" Huffman - Known as the "Voice of Supercross," Larry Huffman's inimitable commentary has informed countless race fans. Often imitated but never duplicated, the thoroughly unique Huffman has announced motor sports events in Japan, Canada, and nearly every major stadium in the United States. He has also served as color commentator for virtually every major network. Huffman shared his racing knowledge with fans by producing and hosting "Motorcycle World with Larry Huffman," as well as through his role as host and co-writer of the movie "On Any Sunday II." Huffman earned his "Supermouth" nickname for his ability to speak at over 300 words per minute.

Terry Poovey - A consistent winner throughout his career, Terry Poovey earned his first taste of victory as a sophomore in high school. Having traveled to Daytona to compete in the short track races held during Bike Week, Poovey placed second in the Expert race on Junior/Expert night and launched a career of podium finishes. In over 350 National final starts, Poovey finished in the top ten over 200 times and the top five 80 times. Poovey earned 11 AMA National wins.

Rolf Tibblin - An intense competitor, Rolf Tibblin won the 250cc European Motocross Championship in 1958 and 1959. He went on to become the 500cc World Champion in 1962 and 1963. As a member of several Swedish Motocross des Nations teams, Tibblin was renowned for his serious training regimen. Tibblin shared his intense training methods, and helped shaped future motocross champions, through his U.S. training school.

Weekend Also Features 7th Annual Motorcycle Hall of Fame ConcoursThe Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction is an emotional celebration that brings together some of the most recognizable people and machines from the world of motorcycling. In addition to induction ceremonies, visitors can also enjoy the Museum's 7th Annual Concours d'Elegance, which drew over 100 juried entries in 2007 - including many bikes ridden, raced, designed or built by current Motorcycle Hall of Fame members. The weekend kicks off with "An Evening of Stars and Legends," a reception honoring the Class of 2008, set for the evening of Friday, October 10, at the Museum. All activities are open to the public. For more information, call the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum at (614) 856-2222, or visit www.motorcyclemuseum.org

About the Motorcycle Hall of Fame
Each year, the Motorcycle Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to motorcycling, including those known for their contributions to road riding, off-road riding and all categories of racing, as well as those who have excelled in business, history, design and engineering. Any motorcycling enthusiast may submit a person to be considered for induction into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame. For details on the nomination process, visit .

About the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum
The goal of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum is to tell the stories and preserve the history of motorcycling. Located on the campus of the American Motorcyclist Association in Pickerington, Ohio, the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum honors those who have contributed notably to the sport, and three major exhibition halls showcase the machines and memorabilia that have shaped motorcycling. The Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and is closed on New Year's, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Adult admission is $10 per person; students 12-17, $3. AMA members $5. Seniors receive a $2 discount and members of motorcycle clubs and organizations are eligible for a $1 discount per ticket. A $25 family rate and group rates are also available. For more information, call (614) 856-2222, or visit the Museum's website at .

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month officially launched
WASHINGTON, D.C.--Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month was officially launched with a news conference on Thursday, May 1, 2008 on the grounds of the nation's Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Speaking at the event were the co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Motorcycle Caucus, Rep. Michael C. Burgess M.D. (R-Texas) and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), along with Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters, Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) President Tim Buche and American Motorcyclist Association President and CEO Rob Dingman. The gathering of national leaders was organized by the MIC and called attention to the annual spring surge of motorcyclists on America's highways and encouraged responsible riding and driving by all roadway users.

"As a doctor, I've been in plenty of emergency rooms and trauma centers," said Rep. Burgess, who is a motorcyclist himself. "Take it from me, you don't want to be involved in a crash of any kind, especially one involving a motorcycle. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. For riders, that means ride responsibly. For everyone else on the road, stay alert and don't let dangerous distractions divert your attention from the road."

Burgess has introduced a bipartisan bill to fix a loophole in the HIPAA law that allows insurers to deny payment for injuries sustained while engaged in recreational activities like motorcycling.

"There are many other reasons why motorcycles are so popular, but one explanation is simple economics: the rising cost of gas," said Rep. Giffords. "Motorcycles offer a more fuel efficient and cheaper way of getting around. I am proud that, as a motorcyclist, I am leaving a smaller footprint on our earth by just riding my bike."

Burgess and Giffords have sponsored a House resolution (H. R. 339) that highlights Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

Secretary Peters said, "As a biker myself, I know motorcycle safety begins and ends with riders taking personal responsibility. That means proper training, proper gear, and a DOT-certified helmet every time you ride."

Speaking on behalf of the AMA's 290,000 members, Dingman said, "I strongly encourage motorcyclists everywhere to re-familiarize themselves with the basics of safe and responsible riding to get the most out of every trip and arrive at their destinations safely. But it is not only motorcyclists who need to hear our safety message today. Far too many motorcycle crashes are caused by inattentive car drivers who pull into oncoming traffic, often turning into the right-of-way of approaching motorcyclists. With the popularity of motorcycling at an all-time high in America, these crashes often injure or take the life of a friend, family member or co-worker. We urge everyone, no matter what you ride or drive, to focus on the task at hand and be aware of traffic around you, in particular motorcyclists."

Dingman also encouraged Secretary Peters and the DOT to urge state highway safety offices to do more with federal 402 funds to educate motorists regarding the importance of watching out for motorcycles.

The American Motorcyclist Association: rights. riding. racing.
Founded in 1924, the AMA is a non-profit organization with 290,000 members. The Association's purpose is to protect and promote the interests of motorcyclists, while serving the needs of its members. For more information, visit the AMA website at .

Photo by Dragonlake Productions
Photo by Dragonlake Productions