Motorcycle Journalist Kevin Ash Killed During Press Launch

“It is with deep regret that BMW Motorrad confirms the fatal injury of Kevin Ash in a motorcycle accident during a launch event in South Africa. The accident happened to the north of a town called George, 250 kilometres east of Cape Town. Out of respect for Kevin’s family and friends, no further information is being made available at this time.”

Adrian Roderick, general manager for BMW Motorrad UK, said: “We are shocked and deeply saddened to hear the awful news about Kevin Ash; one of the most well-liked, experienced and respected journalists in the extremely close-knit motorcycle community. Losing Kevin is a tragedy which will be felt across the entire industry. He was a friend, as much as a journalist, and will be sorely missed. Our heartfelt thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this awful time.”

Neale Bayly, USRiderNews journalist knew Kevin well.  Neale said, ” It’s hard to say how many times I’ve crossed paths with Kevin Ash around the world in my career. From track introductions in Malaysia to Museum tours in Italy, and all number of street rides in America, England or Spain.  I’ve eaten breakfast, lunch, and dinner with him many times in strange places on this planet and have only one consistent  memory of him. Just a seriously down to earth and friendly bloke. A fantastic rider, a true stand out in the world of motorcycle journalism, and a consummate professional, when the riding was done he was always quick to be where the fun was happening.   It’s a sad day to hear of his passing, and I’m sure for BMW an extremely difficult time as they introduce their new GS to the world. My thoughts are with Kevin’s family and friends today and I will take some solace that Mr. Kevin Ash didn’t waste any of his time on this earth. He rode hard, rode well and always did it with a smile on his face. ”

 

Paul Sr. to appear on Celebrity Apprentice

Washington Times Gives Him Little Chance of Finishing

If you believe the Harley-Davidson motorcycle forums and Cyril Huze blog, the motorcycle community is weary of the whole concept of “celebrity” motorcycle builders.

Obviously we’re in the minority.  The rest of the country still has an infatuation with the larger than life persona of Orange County Chopper founder Paul Teutul Sr.

So much so that Donald Trump has cast the short tempered, wrench throwing, biceps bulging builder in the new season of Celebrity Apprentice.

The 62 year old Teutul joins 17 other well known, not so well known and used to be famous celebrities for the new season which premiers February 12th on NBC.  To make it easier, we categorized them into three tiers, front runners, middle packers, and snowball chance in hell of winning.  While the Washington Times puts the odds at 20-1 of Sr. actually winning, we placed him in the middle packers.  He’s got enough celebrity and business connections through his “theme bike” builds that he might be able to raise the dough it takes to win, but it’s going to be tough and his reputation is that he “does not play well with others.”   Make your pick in the poll at the end of the story.

Front Runners

Dee Snider, 56, rock star. 
The only other “biker” in the bunch, Snider and Teutul might form a “secret” alliance
Michael Andretti, 49, race car driver. 
Son of an Indy Car Legend, and highly competitive.  He won’t like losing to a “biker”
Arsenio Hall, 55, talk show host/comedian.
President Bill Clinton once appeared on his show playing the saxophone.  For that he deserves some respect. 
Penn Jillette, (of Penn and Teller)  56, magician. 
He’s the one who does all the talking in that well known Vegas act.  Magicians are crafty and he could pull the wool over the Don’s eyes, making it appear that his screw ups belong to someone else…
Victoria Gotti, 48, mob boss daughter
We’re not saying anything negative or positive about a mob boss daughter.  We’re dumb, but not suicidal.
 

Middle of the Packers

Paul Teutul Sr., 62, (“American Chopper”). 
His biggest weakness is his “I’m right and you’re an idiot” mentality, but it’s going to be fun watching the sparks fly when he gets pissed at another contestant.  Let’s hope he stays around long enough to be entertaining.
Cheryl Tiegs, 64, supermodel. 
Ok, she’s 64, and still hot as hell…but she got zero chance against Teutul’s asshole attitude in a verbal smack down. Still she’s the most formidable eye candy in the group.
Clay Aiken, 32, American Idol runner-up. 
Aiken came in second to Ruben Studdard…boy was he screwed on that one…and we predict history will probably repeat itself.
George Takei, 74, actor
Hipster trekkies will be pulling for their old friend Sulu, who was always there for Capt. Kirk and Mr. Spock.  If there ever was a team player, Takei is the real deal.
Lou Ferrigno, 59, Incredible Hulk
He’ll probably get knocked out of the pile early, but we bet he can stand toe to toe with anyone on the show and hold his own.  
Tia Carrere, 44, actress, model, and singer
Not quite the pushover as the others, but it’s hard to imagine her pulling together enough resources to actually win.  

SNOWBALL CHANCE IN HELL

Adam Carolla, 47, comedian
Who is this guy?  Oh, wait, he’s on Comedy Central…I think.  More cannon fodder. 
Debbie Gibson, 41, pop singer. 
Only in her dreams…. Sorry, that was just too easy a pun not to pen.  
Dayana Mendoza, 25, former Miss Universe. 
Cannon fodder….sexy, but cannon fodder. 
Teresa Giudice, 39, “Real Housewives of New Jersey”
Toast…..done…no chance…unless…..
Aubrey O’Day, 27, singer
If looks were currency, this flaming redhead would have money to spare, but she’s another one of those “Who the devil is that” celebrities.
Patricia Velasquez, 40, model
Same as O’Day but without the red hair and 20 something drop dead looks.
Lisa Lampenelli, 50, comedian. 
We don’t know why she was selected…maybe as cannon fodder?

Bikers Share Passion for Children

Members of the Maddox and Long families, including (left to right) Pam Maddox, Mallory Long, Jami Long, Andrew Long, Mike Maddox and Brian Long – along with hundreds of their friends in the motorcycle community – recently rumbled in to MCGHealth Children's Medical Center to present a donation of nearly $8,500 in memory of Kelsi Elizabeth Long.

Augusta, Ga. – More than 200 motorcyclists rumbled in to MCGHealth Children’s Medical Center during the Ninth Annual Kelsi Long Memorial Ride. The ride is organized by Mike and Pam Maddox in memory of their granddaughter Kelsi Long, who had Down syndrome and was stillborn.

This year’s fundraiser brought in more than $8,500 in donations for critical care needs at MCGHealth Children’s Medical Center. To date, the fundraiser has provided more than $70,000 for the area’s only children’s hospital.

Evel” Knievel To Be Inducted Into Sturgis Hall of Fame

The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the Hall of Fame inductees for 2011.  The Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame is designed to recognize individuals or groups who have made a long term positive impact on the motorcycle community.

Don Emde – Don Emde comes by his passion for motorcycling naturally.  He was born to a motorcycling family in 1951, and spent much of his youth either working in the family’s dealership or tearing up the tracks of Southern California as an amateur scrambler, dirt tracker and road racer.  He turned pro in 1969, and set numerous records with his Daytona 200 win in 1972.  Emde and his father became the first (and so far only) father son pair to win the Daytona 200.  After his racing career, Don went on to become a successful publisher and author.  He currently publishes Drag Specialties Magazine, Parts Magazine and Parts Europe Magazine.

Del Hofer – Del Hofer has been a Harley-Davidson dealer for 50 years, first in Huron, South Dakota, then in Fargo, North Dakota.  His love of motorcycling is obvious through many of his activities.  Del is active in the American Motorcyclists Association and is the longest serving member of the Harley-Davidson Dealer Advisory Board. A long-time AMA amateur racer in all styles of racing, Del also served as an AMA referee and District Congressman for quite some time.  Del’s passion for motorcycling is evident to anyone who meets him.  He encourages men and women alike to take safety courses, get active in riding and enjoy it in a safe and fun way.

Robert Craig “Evel” Knievel – Probably one of the best-known motorcycle riders in history, Evel Knievel liked to live on the edge.  From riding his bicycle at an early age to pole vaulting when he was in the army to playing semi-pro hockey, Evel tried it all.  In the early 1960s, Evel joined the motorcross circuit with moderate success until a broken collar bone forced him to take a job as an insurance salesman.  The insurance business didn’t hold him for long, though, and soon he moved his family to Washington where he started his first daredevil show.  During his career, he attempted 75 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps, many successfully.  In 1974, Knievel unsuccessfully attempted a jump across the Snake River on a steam-powered rocket – the Skycycle X-2.  Knievel died of pulmonary disease in 2007 at the age of 69.

Michael Prugh – While Michael Prugh is certainly well recognized as a motorcycle designer and manufacturer, it’s his work educating others that has taken him beyond the title of “builder.”  Michael has been involved in many builds for charity and as a competitor.  He took second place two years in a row in the AMD’s World Championship of Custom Bike Building and has been featured in numerous publications featuring various builds.  In 2010, Prugh led a team of students from Western Dakota Tech to build “Method” a true “one off” bike that was auctioned at the annual Legends Ride.  This year, Prugh is again teaming up with Western Dakota Tech, Black Hills Harley-Davidson and the Buffalo Chip to build a bike for the Legends Ride.

Gloria Tramontin Struck – You’d never believe this outspoken 85-year-old woman is the same girl who in 1941 at age 16 tearfully told her brother “I do not want to know how to ride!”  Well, her brother won that argument and she’s been riding from that day until today.  She’s owned 14 motorcycles in her lifetime, has traveled every state in the continental U.S. as well as Canada.  At the age of 76, she took two trips to Europe, traveling a total of over 6,500 miles in 8 countries.  Gloria has been a Motor Maid for 65 years, having joined in 1946 and is the longest member still riding.  She continually encourages women to ride and to be involved.  Gloria is an inspiration to riders and non-riders alike.

Mike & Margaret Wilson – While both Mike & Margaret Wilson have contributed individually to the sport and lifestyle of motorcycling, those who know this couple consider them to be a pair.  Mike was an expert dirt-track and TT racer both before and after his stint in World War II.  Right after his return, Mike bought a 45 cubic inch Harley-Davidson motorcycle as a birthday surprise for Margaret.  Mike and Margaret were business partners in a Harley-Davidson then Honda dealership in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for over 25 years. Both Mike and Margaret have been avid riders and have spent countless hours encouraging others to ride, too.  Known to an entire generation of women raiders, Margaret is a golden life member of the Motor Maids celebrating 60 years this year.  Mike and Margaret both serve on the Board of Directors of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum and continue to work to preserve the heritage of motorcycling through their involvement.

The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Breakfast is scheduled on Wednesday, August 10 at 9:00 a.m. at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City, SD.

Breakfast tickets are available for a $35.00 donation, tables of eight for $300.00.  Tickets can be purchased through the Museum at 605.347.2001 or on line at www.sturgismuseum.com/cart/

 


DOWNTOWN GADSDEN TO HOST “GADSDEN BIKE FEST” MOTORCYCLE RALLY

GADSDEN, AL—FEBRUARY 22, 2011—There are two types of motorcycle riders- those who seek out the best roads to ride and those who seek out the best rallies to ride to.  Gadsden, Alabama has something for both: a good location in the middle of some of the best riding roads in Alabama and a new rally to ride to.

On May 13-15, 2011, motorcycle riders from all over the Southeast will be welcomed to the inaugural Gadsden Bike Fest, presented by USRiderNews, in conjunction with the Etowah County Tourism Board and Downtown Gadsden, Inc.

Etowah County Tourism Board Executive Director Hugh Stump, also a motorcycle enthusiast, said Gadsden has a vibrant motorcycle community and will welcome riders with open arms into Gadsden and the surrounding area.  “We are excited to bring motorcyclists from across the region to experience the great riding and hospitality that can be found in Etowah County.”  Stump added, “They’ll be sure to find a great weekend of fun riding, along with great food and music.”

Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountain range, Gadsden is located on I-59, and State Highways 278, 431, 11, and 77 also provide access.  “We have motorcyclists come through Gadsden all the time and the comments I hear are how much they like the town and the roads in this area,” said representatives for the local Best Western Hotel and Suites, who first approached Scott and Sylvia Cochran, owners of USRiderNews with the idea to promote a motorcycle and music festival in Gadsden.

“They came to Helen, Georgia and met with us during one of the motorcycle events that we promote and convinced us that Gadsden would be as welcoming to riders as Helen.” Sylvia Co­­­chran, with USRiderNews said.  “We made a couple trips over here, met with potential local partners, and fell in love with the town and the area.”  Cochran added, “A bike fest is a perfect fit for downtown and we think it has the potential to grow into one of the premier motorcycle events in the Southeast.”

The three-day event will bring riders downtown to interact with local shops and local and regional vendors, bike games, a poker run and outdoor entertainment from local as well as regional music acts.  Local businesses will sponsor the “Hot Rods and Rides” Bike Show and Invitational Car Show.  Kay Moore, Executive Director for Downtown Gadsden, Inc., said “Downtown Gadsden is looking forward to a great weekend as we welcome motorcyclists to our historic downtown.  We know they will enjoy our wonderful restaurants, stores and boutiques.  We are excited to showcase our area and make them feel right at home.”

USRiderNews believes the number of motorcyclists that could visit Gadsden and the surrounding area during the rally would be very significant.

A tentative schedule of events is listed below:

Friday May 13th.

12 noon:  Vendors open and entertainment on Downtown stage
3 pm:  Bike Wash competition
9 pm:  Kick-off party with welcome from the City
9-12 pm:  Local bands and street dance
10 pm:  Miss Gadsden Bike Fest preliminary

Saturday May 14th

9 am:  Vendors open
Live Music Downtown stage all day
10 am:  Hot Rods and Rides Bike Show & Invitational Car Show begins
12- 1 pm:  Bikini Bike Wash Competition
9 am- 12 noon:  Poker Run Registration, last bike in @ 5:30
6 pm:  Bike Games
8:30 pm:  Miss Gadsden Bike Fest finale – Downtown stage
9 pm- 12 am: Live Music and Street Dance- Downtown stage

Sunday May 15th

8-10 am: Pancake Breakfast – Downtown (benefits local charities)
9 am-2 pm:  Vendors Open
11 am:  Christian Motorcycle Assoc. Worship Service, Downtown
2 pm:  Vendors close

Additional contacts:

Scott Cochran, Event Producer, USRiderNews, 478-494-3760
Kay Moore, Executive Director, Downtown Gadsden, Inc., 256-547-8696

Best of Facebook Virtual Bike Show

What do motorcyclists do when the weather is too cold or there’s too much ice and snow on the ground to get in their two wheel fix?

They surf the internet and log onto Facebook, and thousands of them come to the USRiderNews Fan page every day.

So USRiderNews, along with F2P Technologies is giving the motorcycle community a new way to showcase their ride and perhaps win a Flash2Pass automatic garage door opener.

Between February 4th and 12 noon on Feb 11th, motorcycle owners can post a photo of their bike on the USRiderNews fan page and ask their friends to vote by using the “like” button on the post.  Whichever bike gets the most “likes” during that time will win a Flash2Pass module courtesy of F2P Technologies.

To post your motorcycle photo, visit www.facebook.com/usridernews

About USRiderNews:  Founded in 2000 as Dixie Rider National Motorcycle News by Scott & Sylvia Cochran. Dixie Rider quickly grew into the most widely read advertising-based, free publication in the southern United States. In 2004, a unique state insert program was launched to bring local news and ride reports which are unavailable in other national motorcycle publications. In 2005, responding to readers and advertisers request, the name was changed to USRider News and distributed nationally. USRider News is published monthly by Thunder Wind Publishing.

About F2P Technologies

F2P Technologies was created in 2000 by motorsports enthusiast Chris de Janasz. Based in Staunton, Va., the company manufactures a flagship product called Flash2Pass.™ This wireless remote garage opener device features an unprecedented design and is used in the automotive, motorcycle, commercial fleet, recreational, and other industries. For more information about F2P Technologies, visit www.f2ptechnologies.com.

The Motorcycle Year in Review. Looking Back at 2010

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

who owns "Lands Speed?" The artist or the dealership

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

Ridley agreed to quit using the term "Auto-Glide" as this motorcycle's official designation

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.

Winningest and sexiest female drag racer retires

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 Dies In 2010. Best known to bikers as Billy in the movie Easyriders

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.

would you mistake the wearer of this dress as a 1% MC club member?

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.