Early American Motorcycle Pioneer to be Inducted into Motorcycle Hall of Fame

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The Motorcycle Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the fourth member of the class of 2011: Norbert Schickel, an innovative designer and builder in the early years of American motorcycle manufacturing.

As the founder of Schickel Motor Co., Schickel was part of the motorcycle design boom that occurred in the United States between 1905 and 1915. He will be honored at the 2011 Motorcycle Hall of Fame induction ceremony as part of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Legends & Champions Weekend at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 18-20.

“It’s fitting for the Motorcycle Hall of Fame to reach back 100 years in time and honor one of the true pioneers of American motorcycling,” said Jeffrey V. Heininger, chairman of the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, which raises money for the Hall of Fame. “The Hall of Fame honors and memorializes the men and women who have made motorcycling great. And without early pioneers like Norbert Schickel, there would be no American motorcycling.”

Schickel’s vision and designs were evident in the two-cycle motorcycles that he developed. He also helped popularize the twist grip control and had a patented “spring fork front suspension” and “fly wheel magneto.”

Schickel unveiled his first motorcycle at the 1911 Chicago Motorcycle Show, and Schickel Motor Co. began producing motorcycles in 1912 in Stamford, Conn. The company sold more than 1,000 motorcycles, but was forced to file for bankruptcy and close its doors in 1924 due to competition from the automobile industry and other motorcycle manufacturers.

“It was an incredible thrill to learn that he has been selected for the Motorcycle Hall of Fame,” said Ken Anderson, Schickel’s grandson. “He would be thrilled and humbled. If he were here, he would say there are many others who are more deserving.”

Norbert H. Schickel, President, Founder, Designer, Manager, inspecting engine parts probably about 1916.

Schickel is the fourth member of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2011 to be announced. He joins magazine editor and innovator Phil Schilling, industry leader Fred Fox and roadracing champion Doug Polen. The final 2011 inductee will be announced in coming days.

The Class of 2011 will officially be inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame on Nov. 18. Other highlights of the AMA Legends & Champions Weekend include the 2011 Motorcycle Hall of Fame Concours d’Elegance on Saturday, Nov. 19, featuring some of the country’s most impressive original and restored classic motorcycles and the AMA Racing Championship Banquet on Sunday, Nov. 20, where AMA Racing amateur champions of all ages will be recognized for their 2011 accomplishments.

Tickets for the AMA Legends & Champions weekend are now available through this online registration form: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=vw9ldxbab&oeidk=a07e3rn4juk2e3f80c1. Tickets may be ordered over the phone by calling (800) 262-5646.

The AMA Legends & Champions Weekend also includes the final round of the GEICO AMA EnduroCross National Championship Series on Saturday evening, Nov. 19. EnduroCross tickets are available atwww.orleansarena.com/event-calendar/endurocross or by phone at (702) 284-7777 or (888) 234-2334.

The AMA Legends & Champions Weekend will be held at the Las Vegas Red Rock Resort, a world-class spa, hotel and casino, featuring a range of entertainment, dining and family-friendly attractions. The facility’s expansive ballrooms provide a stunning backdrop for the AMA Legends & Champions Weekend, which is certain to be memorable for the 2011 inductees, champions, families, friends and fans. Room reservations are available now at a special group rate by calling (866) 767-7773 and referencing group AMA or AMERICANMOTO. Online room reservations are available at RedRockLasVegas.com. For online reservations, use the promo code RCIMOTR.

More information about the Motorcycle Hall of Fame can be found at MotorcycleMuseum.org.

About the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation
Founded in 1990 by the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, the goal of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame is to tell the stories and preserve the history of motorcycling. Located on the campus of the American Motorcyclist Association in Pickerington, Ohio, the Hall of Fame’s three major exhibition halls feature the machines and memorabilia of those who have contributed notably to the sport. 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. More information can be found atMotorcycleMuseum.org.

Will Future Cars “See” Motorcycles Better?

Car companies are heralding the day when the industry produces a “zero fatality” automobile.  That’s right, aside from a meteor falling on you while driving down the expressway, the automobile industry believes that in the next 10 to 20 years, computer simulations and virtual engineering will enable manufacturers to construct cars with a near zero fatality rating.

New technology will provide magnesium and carbon-fiber parts in strategic locations and active safety systems that slow the car as it follows curves in the road, and vehicle-to-vehicle communication that warns you about approaching vehicular, motorcycle, even pedestrian traffic.

Volvo has gone so far to announce that “By 2020, nobody shall be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo.”

This is great news for motorcyclists, many of who are killed or injured when auto drivers cross into their lane or turn left in their path.

To reach zero fatalaty rating, auto companies are relying on making vehicles that can avoid other vehicles, and in the event of an unforeseeable and unavoidable impact, a vehicle that can crash safer.

Focusing on safer motorcycle crashes  is something motorcycle rights activists have lobbied against for years believing that better auto driver awareness is the key to saving motorcyclists lives.

However, some motorcycle manufacturers have, in the past few years, made improvements in protecting motorcyclists during a crash.

American Honda Motor Co. (which includes Honda and Acura cars, as well as Honda motorcycles, motors and power equipment) has dedicated a lot of money and time to crash analyses with high powered computer model simulations in many different scenarios.

Honda was the first and currently the only motorcycle manufacturer to install air bags on a motorcycle.  The Goldwing air bag is designed to be deployed in the event of  a frontal impact which will slow the operators rate of ejection and th erotically lessen the force of the impact to the operator.

Safety vests, which use compressed gas to instantly inflate upon a rider being ejected from the motorcycle seat have also been marketed and have been successful in several real world accidents.

Automobiles that sense motorcycles and prevent the operator from crossing into the path of the oncoming bike will undoubtedly save many lives, but will have little impact on reducing single vehicle accidents where rider error is the cause, that where safety advocates say additional training is needed.