Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Anti Lane-Splitting Bill Withdrawn

California A-Okay On Splitting Lanes

The sponsor of a California Senate bill that would have restricted the current practice of lane-splitting by motorcyclists will withdraw the bill from consideration, according to the AMA.

Lane-splitting by motorcyclists in California is recognized by the California Highway Patrol and helps ease traffic flow. An aide to state Senator Jim Beall (Democrat-San Jose), who sponsored S.B. 350, confirmed in an email to the AMA on Tuesday that the bill would be withdrawn, pending the results of a University of California-Berkeley safety study expected later this year.

The bill, introduced February 20, would have allowed lane-splitting only in certain instances: on divided highways with three or more lanes of travel in the same direction, only when traffic is congested and only at "a safe" speed.

Nick Haris, AMA western states representative, noted that lane-splitting has been an accepted custom and necessary strategy to ease traffic congestion in California for years. He noted that Beall's bill proposed a sudden and significant shift in traffic management strategies in the state with respect to motorcycles, which could have had a serious impact on traffic flow.

"We are pleased that Senator Beall's office is withdrawing the bill, but we remain watchful of any legislative action on lane-splitting that could penalize motorcyclists," Haris said. "Lane-splitting has been done safely in California for decades, so there is really no need to impose new restrictions, especially given the guidelines just released by the California Highway Patrol that make no mention of a three-lane minimum."

According to the California Highway Patrol, lane-splitting occurs when a motorcyclist rides between lanes of stopped or slower-moving traffic or moves between lanes to the front of stopped traffic. The convention is recognized as a benefit to urban traffic flow because it allows motorcycles to make maximum use of roadways when traffic is stopped or significantly slowed. The controlled flow of motorcyclists through stopped traffic also permits more space for other road users.

"Lane-splitting by motorcyclists, when done correctly, helps improve traffic flow for everyone on the road," Haris said. "That helps everybody save time, gas and hassles, and promotes safer roads by mitigating traffic backups. It's important that we work to preserve lane-splitting for the benefit of everyone on the road."

Artice from Cycle News

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Short Joins BTO Sport - KTM

Three weeks after learning that his L&Mc/Honda Racing Team was closing its door for the rest of the 2013 season, Andrew Short has found a new home at BTO Sports - KTM. Short will join up with BTO's Matt Georke and Les Smith.

For the past few races, Short has continued racing after buying his own Honda and pitting out of the Mike Kranyak Racing rig. He said at this past weekend's Dallas Supercross that he was about to announce his new deal.

"I'm very excited to have Andrew Short on board and riding for our team," said BTO Sports owner Vince Arimitsu. "This brings the BTO Sports - KTM team to another level with two solid riders in the top 10."

This won't be Short's first time on a KTM, he rode for the factory team before moving to the L&Mc/Chaparral Honda Team at the end of the 2011 season.

Short is currently seventh in the 450-class Supercross points standings, just three points behind Justin Barcia.

Article via Cycle News.
Photo via BTO Sports.

The Helmet Man's 2 cents
This is a good move for all, Short is a very competitive rider and for the most part runs in the top 10.  KTM has really gained a lot of recognition with the addition of Roger DeCoster and Ryan Dungey and although BTO is not the factory KTM Team, they still have a great showing and make the main events.  Short will only strengthen the outfit and we should see a another orange bike running up front in the races to come.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Ryan Hughes Recovering From Broken Back

Former factory motocrosser Ryan Hughes, who now runs motocross schools in the Southern California area, was injured yesterday, February 12, while riding at Pala Raceway in Pala, California, suffering a broken back. He reportedly broke the T3 and T4 vertabrae and underwent surgery last night.

Word has it that the surgery went well and he is expected to make a full recovery.

This morning, Hughes posted on his Facebook page: "Ok everyone I just survived the scariest day of my life! I was paralyzed two times yesterday, at the track I was a quad no movement from neck down then feeling came back! Last night the swelling shut everything off from chest down, they rushed me into surgery and now my...extremities are all moving with feeling!! That was the scariest thing ever! Thank you for all your love out there - that was my last ride."

This is getting more typical in our sport, I hate to see/read things like this.

Get well soon Ryan.  
Photo and artice from Cycle News.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Under 100 days till the 2013 Isle of Man TT!

Are you ready? With under 100 days until the 2013 Isle of Man TT, this should get your attention.  Take a TT lap guide with Milky Quayle and Johnny Barton.  Enjoy!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Anaheim 3 Supercross results - KTM Victorious

The fifth round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series was a good one for KTM, and an even better one for Ryan Dungey, who had yet to get his first win of the season. And to this point Dungey had even struggled to make the main event at a couple of the rounds. However, in the end a KTM rider topped both main events with Ken Roczen getting his second straight win in the 250 class while Dungey got his first victory of the year in the 450 division.
Anaheim 3 didn’t start well for Dungey, however. After DNFing his heat race, thanks to a collapsed rear shock (KTM has been experimenting with an air shock on the rear and apparently it lost its charge on the starting line), Dungey was caught up in a first-turn pileup in the LCQ and the Red Bull KTM rider had to come from nearly last to second in six short laps just to qualify. The final two laps were nail-biters as Dungey made up a fairly large deficit in order to catch MotoThump HRT’s Jimmy Albertson and TiLube’s Phil Nicoletti with just two laps to go. However, when Nicoletti bobbled on the final lap Dungey was in.
Meanwhile, a light rain started to fall just as the gate dropped in the 450 main event. And for the second race in a row, the main event was beleaguered by a first lap crash, this week it happened to be the third turn where Two Two Motorsports Honda’s Chad Reed once again was caught up in the fray along with JGRMX Yamaha’s Justin Brayton. Dungey, on the other hand, squeaked through from his outside starting position and was soon into the lead after passing MotoConcepts Suzuki’s Mike Alessi on lap two.
From that point on it was all Dungey. After thwarting a pass attempt by Millsaps early in the race, the Minnesota rider slowly pulled away from the pack on the slickening course to claim a well deserved win, his first of the year.
The Dungey needed this one, for sure, after the rollercoaster season he’s had so far!
“I can’t tell you what a great victory this was,” said Dungey. “The last four races have been a little bit up and down and this is a step in the right direction.
“The LCQ was a squeeze, but we got in. We had a little malfunction with the shock, but we regrouped and went to the springed version and it all worked out. The weeks get tough when you’re not winning and the team looks at you like, ‘what’s the deal.’ But they believe in me and I believe in them and we came through.”

Davi Millsaps continues to get good starts and has consistently been the most consistent rider this year, if I may use that phrase to drive home a point. And if you look at it, Millsaps doesn’t really need to win any more races. Podiums from here on out might well be enough to bring home the title for the Rockstar Energy Supercross rider.
At Anaheim, Millsaps put his Georgia mud-riding skills to good use while navigating the slippery and treacherous course. Throttle control was essential, and Millsaps demonstrated a good feel over the “icy” patches that were starting to form over the course of the evening.
At one point, Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart passed Millsaps for second, but rather than give up, Millsaps stayed within striking distance and reeled Stewart back in when he sensed the former champ was getting tired and then retook the runner-up position when Stewart made a mistake on lap 14.
By taking second, Millsaps continues to hold the red number plate and heads into next week’s race in San Diego with a 14-point lead in the standings over Dungey.
“I just rode as hard as I could,” said Millsaps. “I made a couple of mistakes and let Dungey get away from me, but I’m happy with the finish. The track was one of the slickest we’ve had all year and the little bit of rain we had didn’t help.”

Justin Barcia wasn’t the flashy rider he was while winning round two in Phoenix. The Muscle Milk Honda rider has probably learned a few things during the last two weeks, which have been rather rough for him.
Barcia just barely slipped past the third turn crash at the start of the race and then played it cool during the first few laps, letting things sort out before starting to make his move. The New York rider picked off teammate Trey Canard on lap two and then set his sights on Stewart, shadowing the Suzuki rider until making his move when Stewart bobbled with three laps to go to steal away the final podium spot.
“I’m real happy with this finish,” said Barcia. “The last few weeks have been tough, DNF’s are never fun, so we got out there and mixed it up and got on the podium.”

After setting fastest qualifying time in practice, James Stewart was finally able to put in a full race. The Yoshimura Suzuki rider got off to a decent start and managed to miss the Reed/Brayton crash in the third turn and even looked like he might be able to make up ground on Dungey after passing Millsaps for second on lap seven. However, Millsaps kept the pressure on and rather than focus on catching Dungey, Stewart was forced to deal with Millsaps. Due to his knee injury, Stewart has been limited in the amount of training he’s been able to put in, and most likely he was feeling it at the end of the 20-lap main event. The fourth place finish is definitely a start for Stewart, and it’s likely he can take momentum from this into next week’s race in San Diego.

The starts have been crucial this year, and Ryan Villopoto got bad starts in both his heat race and in the main, although in his heat, Jimmy Albertson was right beside Villopoto furiously trying to kickstart his bike, which had to be a major distraction. Nonetheless, Villopoto’s start in the main left him behind the third turn pileup, which slowed him considerably. Then a crash later in the race dropped the defending champ back outside the top 15. For sure, the A3 course was not a good one to pass on and the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider could do no better than eighth in the final results. Still, the defending champ is just 17 points behind Millsaps in the series standings, and with 12 rounds remaining there’s still lots of racing left.

It’s amazing the difference that a race win can make. Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen came into A3 with so much more confidence after winning last week in Oakland and it showed in his performance this week in Anaheim. After easily winning his heat, Roczen quickly dispensed of JDR/JStar KTM’s Joey Savatgy on the opening lap of the 250 main event and then led every lap of the 15-lap final – keeping an eye on Martin Davalos the entire time – en route to an impressive win. It was the second win in a row for Roczen and it extended his lead in the 250 standings to 20 points over defending champ Eli Tomac.

Martin Davalos continues to look impressive and after winning his heat race, the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider turned in an impressive ride to second in the main, keeping Roczen in check the entire distance.

After dominating the first three rounds, Eli Tomac’s window of opportunity seems to be closing on his hopes of defending his 250 West Coast title. The GEICO Honda rider’s DNF last week in Oakland certainly put a whammy on his chances and he needed to get a win over Roczen at A3 to help stop the bleeding. However, a less than stellar start in the main left the Colorado rider in eighth at the end of the first lap and from there he was only able to move up to third by lap eight. But by the time Tomac made it up to third, Roczen and Davalos had too much of a lead for Tomac to make a dent and the Honda rider was forced to settle for the final step of the podium. With just three more rounds left, Tomac is a full 20 points down to Roczen.

View complete article on Dirt Rider

Friday, February 1, 2013

BMW sells Husqvarna to KTM CEO Stefan Pierer

MUNICH - The BMW Group has announced that it is selling the Husqvarna Motorcycles brand to a company owned by KTM CEO, Stefan Pierer, for an undisclosed sum. In a deal pending approval by European anti-trust authorities, Pierer Industrie AG of Austria will acquire Husky from BMW Motorrad.

The German OEM issued a release Friday saying that the agreement is part of a realignment of its motorcycle business that puts the focus on urban mobility and e-mobility. "In the context of changing motorcycle markets, demographic trends and increasing environmental demands, BMW Motorrad will expand its product offering to exploit future growth potenetial," by focusing on those two segments.

BMW further states that its motorcycle division, "achieved a new sales record in 2012. With the realignment of its motorcycle business, BMW Motorrad aims to maintain profitable and sustainable growth over the coming years. Its current core business consists exclusively of premium vehicles in the categories “Tourer”, “Enduro”, “Sport”, “Roadster” and “Maxi-Scooter” from 650 to 1600 cc. BMW Motorrad entered the urban mobility segment for the first time in 2012 with the C 650 GT and C 600 Sport maxi-scooters."

Next up, the company plans on expanding its product lineup in this segment with the launch of its C Evolution electric scooter in 2014. Beyond that, BMW reports that it will look at other vehicle concepts that use both environmentally-friendly combustion engines and electric motors. The company points to the continuing development of megacities and traffic density as the drivers behind these efforts.

In addition to the expansion in the field of urban mobility, core segments from the 650 single-cylinder entry-level bike to the 6-cylinder luxury tourer will also be selectively expanded.

The website,, points out that the purchase agreement is a surprising move given all the money and engineering efforts BMW has invested in Husqvarna R&D, efforts that have not only produced the Nuda 900 streetbike, but the TR650 dual-sport models recently released to the North American market.

It's unknown what this means for North American Husqvarna dealerships, many of which exist under the same roof as a BMW line.

View complete article on