Krawiec Holds On To NHRA Pro Stock Points Lead At Route 66

Takes Harley-Davidson® V-Rod® Into Round 2 in Sunday Eliminations

JOLIET, Ill. (July 10, 2011) –  Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle®/Vance & Hines rider Ed Krawiec left the O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals leading the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle series after winning one round of eliminations. Krawiec took over the series lead after winning the last event in Norwalk, Ohio, but could not build on that momentum in the heat and humidity at Route 66 Raceway.

“We still don’t have a good hot-weather tune-up for the Screamin’ Eagle V-Rod®, and that’s something we’ve been working on for a few seasons,” said Krawiec. “So we’ll keep working on it. It wasn’t a terrible outing for us. We got one win and keep the points lead.”

Krawiec qualified fifth for the event with an elapsed time (ET) of 6.988 seconds. Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle®/Vance & Hines rider Andrew Hines qualified the team’s other Harley V-Rod in 11th position with a 7.029-second pass. Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana Jr. led all qualifiers with an ET of 6.950 seconds.

Hines was done on Sunday after a first-round loss to VRoom Racing Buell rider David Hope. Hines ran 7.099 to 7.040 for Hope.

“My bike was struggling this weekend, and on Sunday we went back to the set-up we used for Eddie’s bike, but we were off on the tune-up,” said Hines. “We are going to stay here and test on Monday and try to find a better combination for this hot weather that we can use later this season, and then go right to Denver for the next event. We need to find some consistency.”

Krawiec opened the Sunday elimination rounds with a 7.014-second run and a win after the Suzuki ridden by Steve Johnson broke at the starting line. Krawiec ran 7.094 and lost to the 7.065 effort of Kuryakyn Buell rider Chip Ellis in round two.

Nitrofish Suzuki rider LE Tonglet defeated Ellis in the final round to win the event.

After six of 16 scheduled Pro Stock Motorcycle events, Krawiec leads the series with 485 points. Karen Stoffer, who won one round at Route 66, stays in second place with 479 points. Matt Smith moves up to third with 424 points after winning two rounds at Route 66. Hines and Tonglet are tied for fourth with 401 points.

The Pro Stock Motorcycles will next race at the 32nd annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, July 22-24 at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo.

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

Motorcycle Checkpoints May End Up in Supreme Court

Disputing the Constitutionality of Motorcycle Only Checkpoints

NEW YORK, Feb. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Motorcyclists across the nation are awaiting a decision from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York which they hope will declare New York’s “motorcycle only” roadway checkpoints to be unconstitutional. The case Wagner et al. v. The County of Schenectady, et al. could end up in the United States Supreme Court. The checkpoints, which target well-known motorcycle events, force motorcyclists traveling to and from those events to leave the roadway, regardless of any wrongdoing, and have their vehicles and equipment inspected for safety and non-safety equipment violations and stolen VIN numbers. Motorcyclists have been detained as long as 45 minutes in makeshift stockades while undergoing the inspections. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration recently began Federal funding for motorcycle checkpoints nationwide in order to assess their effectiveness despite objections raised by members of Congress.

The New York lawsuit is the first to challenge the constitutionality of motorcycle checkpoints. The plaintiffs are being represented by Proner & Proner, a plaintiffs personal injury law firm with a long history of doing “pro bono” legal work on behalf of motorcyclists. The Proner firm commenced the lawsuit on behalf of four motorcyclists who were detained at two separate checkpoints.

The checkpoints are funded by a grant from the New York Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee and the troopers who work them are paid overtime. Although the stated purpose of the checkpoints is to promote safety, the majority of the more than a thousand tickets which were issued during the first year of the checkpoints had nothing to do with safety and instead focused on non-safety violations such as loud pipes. The written guidelines for the checkpoints specifically state that one of the purposes of the checkpoints is to look for stolen and forged VINs and the police readily admit that they often have undercover members of their gang and auto theft units working the checkpoints looking for signs of criminal activity.

The Supreme Court of the United States has repeatedly made it clear that any roadway checkpoint whose primary purpose is general crime control constitutes an unreasonable search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment and is presumptively unconstitutional. Notwithstanding that fact, the progress reports which the police prepared on the checkpoints specifically state that the grant funds are used “for overtime for intelligence gathering and the subsequent criminal and traffic enforcement.” The police admit that the checkpoints, which focus only on equipment violations and forged and stolen VINs, do not address any of the major causes of motorcycle accidents such as reckless driving, driver inattentiveness and alcohol impairment.

Lawyers for the Plaintiff Riders and Defendant State Police are both seeking summary judgment on the Fourth Amendment claims. The future of motorcyclists’ rights hangs in the balance.