From the monthly archives:

November 2010

Report on Johnson Valley OHV race permit

by Jeff on November 29, 2010

From the AMA, citing U.S. Bureau of Land Management press release –

An internal review by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released on Nov. 19 found its policies and procedures for permitting off-highway vehicle (OHV) events are sound, but the agency did not adhere to these procedures in permitting Mojave Desert Racing (MDR) Production’s California 200, the race that resulted in eight spectator fatalities in a tragic accident in San Bernardino County on Aug. 14, 2010.

In response to the report, BLM National Director Bob Abbey issued instructions to all BLM field offices nationwide that “reinforce the importance of following our procedures aimed at ensuring safety at all these events throughout the West. My clear directive is: if our field offices cannot fulfill or complete all the required steps in authorizing this event, then no permit will be issued.”  The Director’s policy can be viewed at here.

“This tragic accident was a call for us to take an unvarnished look at what went wrong and what BLM can do to improve safety and oversight of these types of races,” Acting BLM State Director Jim Abbott said. “We are cooperating fully with the California Highway Patrol’s ongoing investigation into the accident, but our own internal review found we did not follow agency procedures in permitting and overseeing the event. We have swiftly taken corrective action by implementing the recommendations of the review team, raising the bar for oversight and safety at all such events, and moving forward with a sense of shared responsibility and accountability.”

Abbott said the internal BLM inquiry he chartered immediately after the accident was prepared by a team of experts from throughout the West and Washington, D.C. Abbott asked that group to review both the MDR permit issuance and review BLM’s handling of all SRPs throughout the California Desert, where OHV recreation has long been a highly popular activity.

The inquiry team found BLM’s procedures were not carried out in the MDR permit. The report also found that this shortcoming was not limited to this event or BLM field office, but that adherence to these procedures was inconsistent throughout the five BLM field offices in the 11 million-acre California Desert.

The report concludes with specific action items to ensure effective special recreation permit administration and safety compliance at events; some are immediate and others long term. These include providing adequate BLM ranger and recreation staffing at all events, requiring companies to compensate the BLM for processing and administering permits that take up more than 50 hours of staff time, and requiring more oversight from the District and State Office of BLM to check for policy compliance and program consistency.

Abbott said BLM-California has already taken steps to ensure all approval procedures are carefully followed in issuing permits to assure “seamless implementation” here in California. Since the accident, four special recreation permit applications have been denied and five applications submitted by the promoter of the California 200 are being held in abeyance, pending completion of the CHP’s investigation.

More than a dozen authorized SRP events have occurred since Aug. 14, all with appropriate BLM law enforcement and management staff oversight.

Appropriate BLM personnel actions are being taken in accordance with Federal laws and policies, but specifics cannot be disclosed due to the Privacy Act.

The full report is available online here.  Director Abbey’s Instruction Memorandum is also available at the same address.


List of U.S. based training schools

by JeffNovember 26, 2010 Features

This is a list compiled by the AMA (with a few amendments to bring it up to date). As you can see the MSF is not the only game in town. Included here are some very highly qualified training schools. Street and track-based schools Lee Parks’ Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic. 943-5638. Kevin Schwantz [...]

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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 [...]

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

by JeffNovember 21, 2010 Editorials

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

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Motorcycle Hall of Fame inducts nine legends

by JeffNovember 20, 2010 News

News release from the AMA LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Nine motorcycling legends took their place in history Friday, Nov. 19, at the 2010 Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by JT Racing, held at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa. Hosted by actor and motorcyclist Perry King, the event kicked off the AMA [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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Dainese D-Air Race Suit Announced for Production

by JeffNovember 16, 2010 News

Euro-only this year, but U.S. and street versions to follow As written for By Jeff Cobb After 10 years of research and development, and as announced early this month at the EICMA show in Milan, Dainese’s D-Air race airbag suit system is being released for sale to track day riders and racers in Europe. [...]

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Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic Review

by JeffNovember 15, 2010 Features

As written for We take Level 1 and Level 2 back to back Depending on your current level of riding proficiency, Lee Parks’ Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic stands to at least help you enjoy your motorcycle more, and very possibly could improve you as a human being and even save your life. Sounds [...]

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Video – 2011 Ninja 1000 First Ride

by JeffNovember 12, 2010 Videos

Thought I’d re-post this video where I’m one of the motojournalists in a Kawasaki promo featuring Team Green’s newest street screamer, the 2011 Ninja 1000. I’m the one in the white Dainese leathers doing the aggressive riding in the opener and other shots. I also wrote a review on the bike for here.

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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 [...]

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