J.D. Power: Arai, Icon Tie for Highest Ranked in Motorcycle Helmet Satisfaction

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 26 May 2011 — Motorcycle helmet owners are increasingly likely to purchase their helmet online, according to the J.D. Power and Associates2011 U.S. Motorcycle Helmet Satisfaction StudySM released today.

The study finds that nearly one-fourth (23%) of motorcycle helmet owners purchase their helmet on the Internet, compared with 20 percent in 2010. In 2002, less than 10 years ago, this proportion was just 4 percent.

“While the dealership is still the main source for a majority of helmets purchased, it’s clear that customers are continuing to shift to the online channel to purchase their motorcycle helmets,” said Brent Gruber, senior manager of the powersports practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “The percentage of helmets purchased online has increased steadily during the past 10 years. As a result, it’s crucial to ensure that dealers have an e-commerce website available for customer use as their preferences change.”

The study measures overall satisfaction of motorcyclists with their new helmet

across 11 attributes: quietness; ventilation/air flow; de-fogging performance; face shield effectiveness of keeping wind out; face shield resistance to scratching; ease of replacing face shield; scratch resistance of shell; color/graphic design; weight; ease of fastening the strap; and fit and comfort.

For a 13th consecutive year, Arai ranks highest in customer satisfaction, and ties with Icon with a score of 852 on a 1,000-point scale. Arai performs well across all 11 attributes, particularly in fit and comfort and face shield effectiveness of keeping wind out. Icon performs particularly well in color/graphic design. Shoei follows in the rankings with a score of 831 and performs well in ease of replacing the face shield.

 

The study also finds the following key trends:

  • Overall satisfaction across the industry continues to improve to an average of 788 in 2011, reaching its highest level since the study’s inception in 1999.
  • The average helmet purchase price this year remains consistent with 2010—$209 in 2011, compared with $206 last year. In fact, the average price paid for a new helmet has remained relatively constant since 2007, when the average price was $203.
  • With a consistent increase in the median age of new helmet owners since 2000, this year’s study shows the highest median age to date—48 years.

 

The 2011 U.S. Motorcycle Helmet Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 4,820 purchasers of new 2009 and 2010 model-year motorcycles who provided information about their most recent helmet purchase experience and helmet use. The study was fielded between August and October 2010.

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

 

 

 

America’s Original Riding Rally June 11-19

The Laconia Motorcycle Race and Rally event in Weirs Beach, New Hampshire has been known as one of the most scenic and fun events in history. The nine day event started with only a few hundred motorcyclists and is today the host of more than 188,000 participants.

A brief history – Started in 1916 as a one day event, then came the Louden Classic race in 1923 and the Gypsy Tour soon after. Then seven years later, it turned into a week long event until fighting between local cops and gangs lead to the decline of scheduled events. It wasn’t until the Loconia Motorcycle Rally and Race Association  was formed in the early 1990′s, did the event turn into the nine day event you know today that ends on Father’s Day.

This year marks the 88th Anniversary (sponsored by Progressive) and you can expect all the usual exciting events with many new ones that are sure to captivate every motorcyclist. Some events scheduled are:

  • Free Motorcycle Photo Exhibit
  • Vintage Road racing
  • Biker Build Off - sponsored by Spiced Jack 94 Rum and Lobster Pond
  • Tricycle Drags @ Bullwinkle’s
  • Jagermeister Promos all week long
  • Poker Run, Bikini Contest, and Hot Legs Contest on Thursday
  • Pool Tournament and Rally in the Valley

and plenty of live music by some familiar faces… Click here for full info

Michigan Secretary of State Awards Farmers Insurance for a Decade of Motorcycle Safety Awareness

Grand Rapids, MI (May 12, 2011) – Farmers Insurance welcomed Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson to their Caledonia campus on Thursday, May 12th, 2011 to receive a recognition award from the State of Michigan for Outstanding Performance in Motorcycle Safety. Secretary Johnson arrived on the campus riding a Harley-Davidson along-side Jack Hannigan, Executive Vice President of Farmers Independent Agent Operations and esteemed Farmers Employees and community members.

“I am pleased to present this award to Farmers Insurance for its role in training motorcyclists in western Michigan,” says Secretary of State Johnson. “For the last decade, Farmers has partnered with the Motorcycle Safety Program to provide parking lots for ranges, buildings for classrooms, storage space and other resources, all at no cost…I thank them for their continued support and dedication to motorcycle safety.”

For the past decade, Farmers has partnered with the Department of State Motorcycle Safety Program and Grand Rapids Community College to provide parking lots for motorcycle ranges, buildings for classrooms, storage space and other resources to conduct motorcycle safety courses.  Hannigan was presented with a plaque commemorating Farmers’ years of commitment to the Motorcycle safety.

“Farmers Insurance recognizes the importance of motorcycle safety and is proud to be a part of the continuing safety program on our campus here in Caledonia,” says Hannigan. “As an advocate for motorcycle safety awareness Farmers is honored to be recognized for continued years of service.  We look forward to supporting motorcycle safety awareness well into the future and making sure riders are as safe as possible on the road.”

Farmers is a trade name and may refer to Farmers Group, Inc. or the Farmers Exchanges, as the case may be. Farmers Group, Inc., a management and holding company, along with its subsidiaries, is wholly owned by the Zurich Financial Services Group.  The Farmers Exchanges are three reciprocal insurers (Farmers Insurance Exchange, Fire Insurance Exchange and Truck Insurance Exchange), including their subsidiaries and affiliates, owned by their policyholders, and managed by Farmers Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries. For more information about Farmers, visit www.Farmers.com or www.Facebook.com/FarmersInsurance.

 

 

Harley Owners Group Offers Prizes for Hoka Hey Challenge

Milwaukee (May 6, 2011) – The Harley-Davidson Motor Company is pleased to announce that it will provide more than $50,000 in contingency prizes to the highest finishing members of the Harley Owners Group who complete the 2011 Hoka Hey Challenge.

 

To recognize the H.O.G. members partaking in this event as among the most adventurous motorcyclists in the world, the highest finishing eligible H.O.G. member who completes the event, as determined by the organizers, will be awarded a 2012 Harley-Davidson Custom Vehicle Operations motorcycle of his or her choice. In addition, the 2nd through 5th highest finishing eligible H.O.G. members will each be awarded a portion of a total of $19,000 in additional cash prizes.

 

The Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge will present one of the world’s greatest long-distance endurance motorcycle riding events beginning August 5, 2011. The event, the second annual in a series, begins in Phoenix, Arizona, and travels through all forty-eight contiguous U.S. states and several Canadian provinces to Nova Scotia.  The route will travel more than 10,000 miles, and is open to all riders of Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

 

“The Hoka Hey Challenge is a perfect match for the superior touring experience and capabilities of Harley-Davidson motorcycles and the long-distance adventuring aspirations of many of our H.O.G. members,” said Steve Piehl, Harley-Davidson Director of Customer Experience. “The theme of the Hoka Hey Challenge is ‘It’s a good day to ride!’ and that is always the case on a Harley.”

 

To be eligible for any contingency award, the rider must be a H.O.G. member in good standing at the time the ride starts and must display a H.O.G. emblem on his or her riding gear and in a prominent location on the motorcycle (preferably on the windshield or Tour Pak) throughout the event. The H.O.G. member must be the designated rider (passengers not eligible) and meet all eligibility requirements for the event. H.O.G. emblems and decals will be provided free of charge to all members who participate in the event at the start of the challenge.

 

As an event and contingency sponsor only, Harley-Davidson Motor Company is not responsible for organizing or conducting the event, and will defer all decisions regarding final finishing order to the event organizers.

 

For details, eligibility requirements, and rules of the H.O.G. contingency program, visit members.hog.com. For entry information or to monitor the event’s progress, visit www.hokaheychallenge.com.

 

Company Background

 

Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles
and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. For more information, visit harley-davidson.com.

 

Florida Governor Rick Scott Proclaims May 2011 as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month


Tallahassee, FL,  April 26, 2011 – ABATE of Florida, Inc., Florida’s largest Motorcycle Rights Organization,thanks Rick Scott, Florida’s newest  Governor, for recognizing  the  large  volume of motorcycles operating in Florida, and the safety and awareness concerns surrounding the dangers of motorists sharing the roadways with motorcycles. As has been the case over the last few decades, Florida’s Governor has again proclaimed this May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness month.

The 2011 Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month Proclamation states:

WHEREAS, Florida’s climate and scenery make motorcycle riding an attraction in the Sunshine State, and riders consider our roadways to be some of the nation’s best for riding.

WHEREAS, motorcycles are increasingly used as a regular means of transportation; and

WHEREAS, the motorcycle is an energy-efficient vehicle that reduces fuel consumption, traffic and parking congestion; and

WHEREAS, the motorcycle is an important form of transportation for commuting, touring and recreation; and

WHEREAS, as a matter of safety, it is necessary to develop appropriate driving habits to handle these vehicles on Florida roadways; and

WHEREAS, more than a million drivers in Florida have a motorcycle endorsement on their driver license; and

WHEREAS, to prevent injuries and deaths on Florida’s roadways, motorcyclists and motorists must be vigilant in their efforts to share the road and ensure the safety of everyone; and

WHEREAS, Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month raises public awareness for  a lifetime of safe motorcycle riding

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Scott, Governor of the State of Florida, do hereby extend greetings and best wishes to all observing May 2011 as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

”We welcome you to visit our website and see the many 2011 and past Proclamations from the State of Florida and many cities, towns, and counties throughout Florida.  We hope the  proclamation of May as  Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month will continue to heighten motorists’ awareness of motorcycles on Florida’s roadways.”

Thunda Around the Rotunda

Date: Saturday April 30th

Time: 1pm – 5pm

Place: Madison, WI (meet at Goodman Park, ride to the Capitol)

Cycles: Meet at Goodman Park at 1pm

 

Motorcyclists will plan their own ride to Madison on Saturday April 30th and meet at Goodman Park, then parade to the Capitol in support of Wisconsin Workers. Motorcycle enthusiasts are an enormous part of Wisconsin culture with over 250,000 motorcycles registered with the Department of Transportation. On April 30th after the Crazy Legs race and the Farmers Market, motorcycles will ride together up to the state capitol to show their support for all Wisconsin workers.

For More Info Click HERE….


 

TxDOT Asks Drivers to Watch Out for Motorcycles

The Texas Department of Transportation is educating drivers on how to prevent collisions with motorcycles.

The agency’s “Share the Road” public awareness campaign urges drivers to look twice for motorcycles at intersections and when changing lanes, the two places where serious motorcycle collisions commonly occur.

The campaign uses TV and radio commercials and billboards to drive home the safety message.

Fort Worth police Sgt. Mike Cagle, a motorcycle patrolman, said educated drivers can reduce the number of collisions.

“Look twice, do a double take, [and] be respectful,” he said. “A motorcycle is a vehicle just like any other vehicle.

Ultimately, drivers aren’t aware the motorcycles are there, Cagle said.

“They [drivers] just don’t see them, and they need to take the time to look. That’s the scariest thing — they just don’t see us when they come over.”

According to TxDOT, 66 percent of motorcycle crashes result in the death or serious injury for the motorcyclist. The agency says 434 motorcyclists were killed and almost 6,000 were injured in 2009.

Cagle said intersections and lane changes are the deadliest places for motorcycles,  especially when the motorcyclist is turning left or when a vehicle is changing lanes.

Experienced motorcycle rider David Morrissey, who learned to ride in his teens, said drivers just need to be aware of their surroundings.

“Look for us,” he said. “Stop, and talk on your telephone when you are stopped. And don’t text, and please no sandwiches and mascara at the same time at 80 miles an hour down the road,” he said. See Video

 

Maine Legislator Heats Up Motorcycle Noise Debate

Many motorcyclists in Maine may be still hibernating with temperatures dipping below freezing at night and  a chance of snow forecast for later in the week but that isn’t stopping Rep. Diane Russel from pushing her anti-motorcycle agenda in the State Senate.

Russell who admits her noise legislation is personal says motorcyclists who ride with modified exhaust are “stupid.”   She has introduced two bills aimed at increasing the fine for non-EPA approved exhaust to $999 for a third offense.

Russell told the media, “If they want to drive a motorcyle and make a lot of noise and if they get zinged for it and have to pay $500 bucks, that’s their problem and I don’t feel sorry for them–if they’re that stupid then they deserve to pay $500 bucks,” he said. “But why should the rest of Maine suffer because some cowboy wants to put a great big thing and drive like anything?”

Motorcycle rights group oppose the bill on several grounds, one of which is that the fines exceed those of “life threatening injuries.”

Eric Fuller of Jay, who chairs the Maine Motorcyclists Political Action Committee said, “While it may be nice to target certain actions or people we dislike, the judicial systems of this nation have held a system of equality for this country.”

Senator Russel says that a group of motorcycle riders momentarily disrupted a party at her house and that is what gave her the incentive to try to punish those with loud pipes.

“The reason I got involved with this: I was having a family get together at my house and I had grandchildren there and great grandchildren there. Four motorcycles came by–boom, boom, boom,” he told lawmakers. “All of us except one grabbed their ears. That’s common sense and common knowledge–except the six-month-old in the stroller. For some reason he wasn’t smart enough to do that. I’m asking you people here to protect us citizens of the state of Maine.”

 

Get ready: Countdown to AMA Get Out and Ride! Month

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — AMA Get Out and Ride! Month kicks into high gear on April 1 by showcasing the riding activities of American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) members and other motorcyclists across the country. Plans are coming together quickly, on the East Coast, the West Coast and everywhere in between.

Rider Dean Mellor knows exactly what he’ll be doing: “Vegas, baby. A perfect ride across the desert on the KLT.”

Mellor is far from alone.

“Turned the VFR over 100K last year, now to set about doing it again!” wrote Neil Robert Pille on the AMA Facebook page.

Even new riders are feeling the itch to get back in the saddle. Kristine Frohning, who just began riding last season, can’t wait to throw a leg over her Yamaha. “I already miss it so much!” she said.

AMA Get Out and Ride! Month officially launches on April 1, when a special web page onAmericanMotorcyclist.com, plus Facebook and Twitter feeds, will provide daily details, including themes for each week:

  • April 4-10: AMA Get Out and Ride Your Way! Week highlights everything from AMA Grand Tours to solo riding on favorite trails and twisties.
  • April 11-17: AMA Get Out and Ride Together! Week features large iconic rallies and smaller local events, from dual-sport rides to AMA National Conventions to Gypsy Tours.
  • April 18-24: AMA Get Out and Ride for a Cause! Week showcases events and activities where motorcyclists use their love of riding to help others less fortunate, as well as advocate for the motorcycling lifestyle.
  • April 25-30: AMA Get Out and Ride Smart! Week focuses on rider training and awareness skills needed to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience on every ride.

“We encourage all motorcyclists to join the AMA in celebrating the motorcycling lifestyle,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. “There is a common bond that unites all of us, regardless of what or where we ride. AMA Get Out and Ride! Month connects motorcyclists from all over the country as we share our riding adventures.”

Throughout the month, AMA members will submit stories, photos and videos. A weekly winner will be selected for the best submission, and some great prizes will be awarded for the best stories — including a $100 gift card from AMA member benefit partner and corporate member BikeBandit.com, a gift certificate for a set of tires from corporate member Dunlop Tires, a Blinc Bluetooth Helmet Communications System and riding gear from Tourmaster.

One lucky motorcyclist will be featured in an upcoming issue of American Motorcyclist magazine and on AmericanMotorcyclist.com. Stay tuned to AmericanMotorcyclist.com for more details, and if you haven’t made your plans yet, get started now. AMA Get Out and Ride! Month begins on April 1!

 

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.