For motorcycle enthusiasts, 2010 was the year the motorcycle community lost a couple of icons and a shootout between rival motorcycle clubs in Nevada, and a jury find that a casino was libel for injuries in another shootout 8 years ago. Let’s look back at the Motorcycle Year 2010.
On New Year’s day when everyone else was sleeping off a hangover, Jeff Decker, owner of Hippodrome Studios in Springville Utah took a crane and went to Timpanogos HD in Lindon UT and repo’d a 4 ton art statue of a motorcycle racer. The dealership had been through bankruptcy and listed
the $100,000 work of art as an asset, but Decker said it was on loan and he had the paperwork to prove it.
Los Angeles Motorcycle Police officers traded in their Harley’s for BMW’s
INDIAN Motorcycles passed stringent CARB certification which allowed the brand to begin distributing the iconic bikes in California.
Ridley Motorcycles surrendered after a seven year legal battle with Harley-Davidson and agreed to quit using the term Auto-Glide in reference to some of its motorcycles. Lehman Trikes and Harley-Davidson parted ways as the Milwaukee
motorcycle maker said it would start producing the tri-glide trikes in its Pennsylvania plant.
Tony Taylor, former lead singer for the heavy metal band Twister Tower Dire was killed in a motorcycle accident in Ft. Meyers Florida.
Erik Buell isn’t sitting around after having his namesake company shuttered by Harley-Davidson, Buell started a company to provide race bikes in 2010 to companies who want to compete on the track with American made motorcycles.
Orange County Choppers was presumed dead after TLC dropped the show amid a feud between the Tuetels father and son team.
Sex and the City actor Max Ryan broke his collarbone and 5 ribs when a vehicle turned in front of him in Los Angeles.
Angelle Sampey, the sexiest and winningest female in motorsports history announced her retirement.
Daytona Beach Police busted a chop shop that had been shuttling stolen bikes between New York and Florida for 5 years.
Illinois State Senator Gary Forby helped defeat legislation (19-32) that would require children under the age of 18 to wear a helmet while on a motorcycle. He told critics of the bill “I don’t want you to come tell me how to raise my kids”
In a highly criticized report, The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said motorcycle training courses were not effective at reducing accidents for riders 21 years and under. In the same study, the Institute found that motorcycles equipped with anti-lock brakes were 37% less likely to be involved in an accident.
Anthony Graber became the cause célèbre of civil libertarians when he was stopped on a Maryland interstate for reckless riding and secretly recorded Maryland Air National Guard Sergeant Joseph David Uhler acting in, what many perceived as an unprofessional manner. Graber later posted the video on YouTube which so angered the State police and prosecutors office they charged him with a law that was meant to prevent citizens from wiretapping the police and courts. With outrage mounting, A judge would later throw out the wiretapping charge.
The Tail of the Dragon was reopened several months after a rock slide shut down the popular motorcyclist destination at the start of the busy spring riding season.
Harley-Davidson shocked Wisconsin lawmakers and angered the Harley faithful when it said there was a strong possibility that the day could come when no more Harley-Davidson motorcycles would be produced in the state where the company was born. Harley demanded and eventually received significant concessions from local union members and the plants remained in the Milwaukee area.
In an attack on states where helmet use is optional, Senator Frank Lautenberg fired the opening salvo in hearings by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee by repeatedly calling for a National Helmet Law, later this year the NTSB would pick up the mandatory helmet use banner saying it intends to pressure those states where helmet use is optional to enact mandatory use legislation.
Robbie Knievel went to the Twin Falls Idaho area Chamber of Commerce to request permission to attempt a jump that his famous father failed to complete. Robbie asked to be allowed to jump the Snake River Canyon on July 4th 2011, the 43rd anniversary of Evel’s failed attempt. A spokesperson for the Chamber said the request is on hold pending a decision by the County Commissioners.
Dennis Hopper, best known to motorcyclists as “Billy” in the iconic Easy Rider movie, died at the age of 74.
The South Carolina Supreme Court tossed out a city ordinance requiring all motorcyclists wear a helmet in Myrtle Beach.
Polaris caused a stir when it announced it intended to outsource some of its ATV parts production to workers in Mexico and cut jobs in the USA. While the motorcycle side of the giant motorsports company was not affected, Polaris did say that once the Osceola Wisconsin plant closed, Victory engine manufacturing would be moved to Spirit Lake Iowa.
Sputnik Strain, a larger than life motorcycle rights advocate from Texas died. He was 70.
The Hoka Hey challenge roared into the history books as the most celebrated and controversial endurance ride/ quasi race held in recent memory. Several participants died and organizers dodged questions for a month concerning prize money and not declaring an official winner. In the end, Will Barclay was declared the winner and told Quick Throttle magazine that he received his $500,000 prize money, but that did not end the controversy.
California legislators enacted a law making it illegal to modify the exhaust on 2011 and newer motorcycles, and Gov. Schwarzenegger signed the bill into law later in the year.
Chuck Zito pissed off Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter when he filed suit against FX claiming the network stole his idea for the fictional motorcycle club drama. Sutter called Zito a (expletive deleted) loser and a bitter juvenile gnat.
Thieves stole a pink Harley-Davidson Sportster belonging to the Susan G. Komen Foundation that was to be auctioned to raise money for breast cancer awareness. The bike was found months later in a garage, chopped and stripped ready to be sold for parts.
In a marriage that barely lasted a year, MV Agusta was sold/returned to its former owner, the Castiglioni family. When it was all said and done, the Milwaukee company (in write downs and loans forgiven) essentially paid $136 million dollars to dump the sportbike company. This isn’t the first time that Harley-Davidson took a bath in business dealings with the Italians, in the early 60’s HD bought 50% of Aermacchi and full control in 1974, and four years later sold it back to Cagiva, owned by (who else) the Castiglioni family.
Motorcyclists across the USA were angered when it was revealed that NHTSA awarded a $70,000 grant to the Georgia State Patrol to conduct motorcycle only checkpoints at motorcycle events throughout the state.
Cycle News, America’s longest running motorcycle competition magazine shocked the industry when it pulled the plug on its print edition. The good news is that before the last epitaph was written, a buyer had stepped forth to purchase the title with plans to resurrect it.
Hells Angels and Vagos motorcycle clubs engaged in a shootout in Prescott Arizona with over 50 shots exchanged and five club members injured.
Indiana motorcyclists clogged city streets and protested after DUI charges were dropped against an on duty city police officer who was allegedly intoxicated when he crashed his cruiser into a group of motorcyclists at a light, killing one and injuring two others.
Black motorcyclists have a 50% higher incident of fatalities than their white counterparts, according to a report from John’s Hopkins University. The percent held up even after controlling for factors such as severity of the accident, the biker’s gender and hospitalization insurance status. Other factors, such as age, type of bike and/or past driving history were not considered.
Ft. Meyers police arrested a 53 year old woman for attempting to hire a hit man to kill her husband. Police say Kimberly Alters offered her husband’s Harley-Davidson as payment.
Despite being almost double what the county appraised the property, 9.2 million dollars just wasn’t enough to convince the owner of One-Eyed Jacks to sell the popular biker bar in Sturgis South Dakota. The owner backed out of the sale citing $10 million as his minimum asking price.
Two wheels safer than four. That’s the conclusion of a study by a team of researchers at John’s Hopkins. The study found that ATV riders were 50% more likely to die of their injuries than similarly injured motorcycle riders and that ATV riders were 55% more likely to be injured and admitted to intensive care units than motorcyclists.
A French designer house folded like a house of cards after receiving legal notice from The Hells Angels claiming copyright infringement. Alexandar McQueen immediately agreed to recall merchandise which resembled the clubs death head logo that had been sold in Saks Fifth Ave and Zappos.com.
A civil jury found casino company Harrah’s Inc liable for injuries suffered by patrons during the 2002 shootout between the Hells Angels and Mongols Motorcycle club.
Four members of the Saddle Tramps MC were killed in a horrific wreck on a two lane California road when a gold colored Honda Civic passed the group and forced an oncoming car to swerve off the road and back across the lane into their path. The driver of the Honda was not arrested and police have no leads.
Harley-Davidson is seeking additional concessions from its union in Kansas City and has said it may be forced to move production to York PA or Wisconsin if it doesn’t get what it needs to streamline operations.