From the category archives:


May is Motorcycle Safety Month

by Jeff on May 4, 2011

Actually, like I said last year, what’s this motorcycle safety month stuff?
OK, I really do get it. Now is a time when on average a lot of rusty riders will be getting out on the roads, and car drivers will have to be aware of them.
Nonetheless, drivers ought to be fully alert all year round, and riders ought to always exercise caution.

Following is from the MSF –

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — As motorcyclists turn their calendars to a new month, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reminds all road users that May marks Motorcycle Awareness Month.

“Motorcyclists take to the highways in large numbers every spring, and it’s the responsibility of all road users to welcome us safely and attentively,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. “This is why many states and local governments officially promote motorcycle awareness during the month of May. Unfortunately, many road users are not always mindful of those with whom they share the road, and an annual reminder is necessary for them to acknowledge the flow of motorcycles in traffic.”

Efforts by the motorcycling community to establish Motorcycle Awareness Month can be traced back to the early 1980s, shortly after the release of the landmark “Hurt Report” conducted by Motorcycle Hall of Famer Professor Hugh H. “Harry” Hurt in 1981. The report is entitled “Volume I: Technical Report, Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures, January, 1981 – Final Report.” The Hurt Report set the benchmark for motorcycle safety research in the United States, if not the world.

One of the leading causes of crashes, according to the Hurt Report, was this: “The automobile driver fails to detect the inconspicuous motorcycle in traffic. This is due to lack of motorcycle and rider conspicuity and lack of caution and awareness of the automobile driver.”

Drivers can improve their ability to avoid a crash with a motorcyclist by respecting the motorcyclist’s space on the road, not following too closely and taking extra care to watch for motorcyclists at intersections.

Indeed, the AMA recognizes that distracted or inattentive driving has become a major concern to the motorcycling community. Far too many cases have been documented of motorcyclists being injured or killed as the result of other vehicle operators being distracted or inattentive.

“If all drivers would make a conscious effort to look twice before turning left across the oncoming lane of traffic at an intersection, lives would be saved,” Dingman said.

For motorcyclists, the AMA strongly encourages the use of personal protective equipment — including gloves, sturdy footwear and a properly fitted motorcycle helmet certified by its manufacturer to meet the U.S. Department of Transportation standard — as part of a comprehensive motorcycle safety program to help reduce injuries and fatalities in the event of a motorcycle crash.

Although statistics reported by the Governors Highway Safety Association indicate that in recent years motorcycle fatalities are down, by 2 percent in 2010 and 16 percent in 2009, any death of a motorcyclist in a crash is one too many. That’s why the AMA has long encouraged local and state governments to maintain or increase funding for motorcycle rider education and motorist awareness programs – two highly effective strategies to reduce the likelihood of motorcycle crashes.

It’s also why the AMA lobbied for a new comprehensive study on all aspects of motorcycle crashes.

“In the decades since the Hurt Report, the traffic environment has changed enormously, which prompted the AMA to begin campaigning for a new study several years ago,” Dingman said. “We need real, hard answers to identify the reasons behind both the long-term increase in motorcyclists’ deaths and the short-term decline. This issue is too important to simply speculate.”

The Federal Highway Administration has undertaken a comprehensive study at the Oklahoma Transportation Center, an independent and well-respected transportation research facility at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla., under the direction of Dr. Samir Ahmed. The study is expected to conclude in 2013.


Earth Day, every day, says AMA

by JeffApril 22, 2011 Editorials

An AMA press release: PICKERINGTON, Ohio — As conservation takes center stage on Earth Day 2011, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) notes the environmental benefits of commuting and traveling on a motorcycle. “Regardless of how you use your motorcycle or scooter — commuting to work, riding down the block, across town, traveling across the country [...]

Read the full article →

American Motorcyclist Association members select America’s 15 best motorcycling roads

by JeffMarch 15, 2011 Editorials

PICKERINGTON, Ohio – The results are in, and communities nationwide are the winners. Members of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) voted on their favorite roads in America, and the top 15 selections represent scenic highways and byways throughout the country. “When it comes to the best places in the country to ride motorcycles, no group [...]

Read the full article →

Kids Just Want to Ride Act proposed

by JeffJanuary 19, 2011 Editorials

From the AMA: The Kids Just Want to Ride Act is set to be introduced next week by Rep. Denny Rehberg (MT) in the U.S.  House of Representatives.  The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) strongly supports the Kids Just Want to Ride Act and is urging everyone to call their Representative to become an original cosponsor. [...]

Read the full article →

Schwarzenegger is AMA’s Motorcyclist of the Year

by JeffDecember 8, 2010 Editorials

The AMA is expressing its displeasure over California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s legislative approval of S.B. 435 by naming him Motorcyclist of the Year. It’s not an overstatement to say the AMA abhors the California law mandating strict controls on motorcycle sound, and named the man allegedly most responsible for it, one who claims to be [...]

Read the full article →

Video – Aerostich Roadcrafter

by JeffDecember 4, 2010 Editorials

I have one of these. It really is fast and easy. Lots of protection for street pace riding. Goretex keeps wind and rain out for the most part.

Read the full article →

Video – Roasted R6 on Mulholland

by JeffNovember 22, 2010 Editorials

You crash. You burn. … You live if you’re fortunate. I live near here. Have ridden these roads on my own R1. What do you say? Don’t race on the streets? Don’t ride over your limits? Look at the passersby coming and going. One rider’s tragedy is another anecdote for everyone else. My advice? Be [...]

Read the full article →

Video – The best person to look out for you is you

by JeffNovember 21, 2010 Editorials

How true. Gear up. Get trained. Rider sober.

Read the full article →

Piaggio’s CEO on the state of motorcycling

by JeffNovember 18, 2010 Editorials

This story I wrote for is being reprinted because not a lot has really changed since it was written in May this year, and the message is a good one that still needs to spread. – Jeff Aprilia, Guzzi and Vespa boss advocates for big changes to broaden customer base By Jeff Cobb It [...]

Read the full article →

Future of OHV motorcycling threatened by Obama Administration

by JeffNovember 17, 2010 Editorials

Ed. Note: The American Motorcyclist Association is alerting all motorcyclists about an initiative to further restrict motorcyclists’ rights. Why is this AMA Action Alert being republished in Motorcycle Safety News? Because, by only a small stretch of editorial license, we want to keep motorcycling itself “safe,” and this is a concern for everyone who cares [...]

Read the full article →

AMA issues appeal over misbegotten ‘lead law’

by JeffNovember 9, 2010 Editorials

Reprinted as a courtesy to get the message out for the AMA. We wrote about this issue last year. This law effectively crippled a family friendly industry and is a prime example of ludicrous safetycrat behavior at its finest. With thinking like this coming from those supposedly in charge in this country, is it any [...]

Read the full article →