Issue 6


In the afterword of his book Goodbye To All That, Robert Graves refers to his growing up in an era when any motor vehicle was legally required to be proceeded by a man on foot with a red flag, presumably to protect the hapless populace from their infernal trifecta of noise, speed, and generally alarming nature. One suspects such a rule was in effect due to the fact that no one had gathered enough information regarding motorized vehicles to know how to react and/or enforce their drivers' behavior short of hoping the things would just go away, somehow.


Where have you guys been. Greatgrandpop has been riding to work daily and year round (except in snow for over 50 years. In the early 50.s work was only 10 miles from home and good thing because the old Triumph and BSAs were not the most reliable of transportation. In the 60s and 70s, Honda came along and GGP would put 10k a year on a CB450, CB750 Supersport, and in the 80s a VFR1100S Honda Sabre. The Sabre was the most roadworthy long distance daily commuter. I use to ride it daily from Bethesda MD to the Naval Research Lab near in Anacostia DC around the beltway 35 miles each way. After 63,000 miles on the Sabre, I was transfered to a position in Manasas Virginia for a daily work commute of 37 miles each way around the Washington Beltway. Maybe a lot of coworkers and company management considered my bike riding a little unprofessional, Being an engineer, I loved to ride. Figured that if I had to go to work each day, may as well have fun doing it. Was a little inconvenient in the winter months, putting on all the necessary clothing and logistics of changing into suit and tie for meetings, but hey, I'm retired now and can ride daily at age 76 for pleasure in the countryside without all the traffic. God only knows how many miles I've put in riding, but it kept me healthy and wealthy with all the money in gas I've saved. And must add that in all these years of riding, I have never had an accident or been given any traffic ticket violations. In Y2K, at age 73, GGP bought his first Harley, a Sportster XLH1200. After 15K miles it was shaking the cholesterol out of my arteries so I sold it and bought an 02 Harley Dyna Superglide. So much for Malcolm Forbes. Bought the Sportster because wasn't sure I could handle a Heavyweight machine having just come from a 97 Truimph TBird and 20K miles. Harleys are real pussycats. Easiest motorcycles in the world to ride and believe me, I've just about ridden them all. My first bike was a '37 250 Rudge basketcase that cost 10 bucks in 1948.
P.S. This is not propaganda, but truth that you can count on and verify. sincerely, Emanuel Briguglio

Hi Emanuel,

Folio: Cops/Justice/Laws

From Friction Zone March 2004
From the monthly Column ‘the CHP Connection’ by officer Ron Burch
reprinted with permission of Friction Zon, copyright 2004

My observation is that motorcycles are ticketed proportionately less than automobiles or trucks. Is this a valid observation and if so, why? Are we better drivers; are we more aware of where Officer Burch is waiting for us; or do we obey the laws better?

Gary Yant
Cambria, CA

Officer Burch’s Response

Katman's Corner

From Midwest Motorcyclist January/February 2004

by Lawrence Katkowsky, Esq.


By Beemer Dan (On the Malcontent Yuppie Bikers webzine, August 30, 2000)


As you all know I was run over by a big f--kin truck. The Cop that arrived at the scene of my accident gave the driver at fault, a careless redneck moron in one of the biggest trucks made and then jacked up 3 feet higher than the law allows, a ticket for running a red light. She didn't ticket him for having an illegally modified vehicle or for reckless driving, reckless endangerment or in any way endangering the life of anyone. It was like he never even ran me over, like I wasn't even there. Some of the nurses and doctors and other people seem to think that it's my fault that I was run over by a worthless jackass in a big truck not paying attention. It was my fault because I was on a "dangerous motorcycle".


From Moto Guzzi Owners News October 2003

After almost getting creamed by a SUV running a red light on Saturday, I felt this to be a bit pertinent. Just promise me ya’ll will make sure the idiot that creams me won’t get a slap on the wrist.

An Open Letter from a Dead Motorcyclist

My name is Sandra Lee and I was killed on August 23, 2003 by a right of way violator. It is hard for me to be patient with people who say ‘it was just an accident.’ There was my death to consider and it matters. Whatever happened has consequences and they are irrevocable and irreversible. Since I am the one that died, I think the truth is owed. I know you didn’t mean to kill me, but you did. The truth is you didn’t take the five seconds to look twice before you turned. You could have saved my life! The truth is you weren’t paying attention. You just didn’t see me. One very real truth is that over two thirds of motorcyclist’s deaths are caused by drivers, not motorcyclists. When one person dies it is a tragedy but when over 2,000 people die nationwide, it becomes a statistic. The unfortunate truth is that a lane change, casual red light run, untimely cell phone call or a driver’s inattentive left turn can, and in my case did, result in death.



‘Motorcycle Hits Turning Car.’ That’s a common headline in both newscasts and newspapers. Everyone knows it. But it’s usually neither true or accurate. What actually happened was a car turned in front of a motorcycle, then the bike and car collided.

Whenever anyone on the road is killed or injured, regardless of the reasons or specifics of the particular accident, the individuals involved - and the greater public - all deserve an accurate and unbiased account. It’s both good reporting and in the public interest. Understand this logically: A motorcyclist is traveling down a road and a car ahead is the motorcycler rides into the car. Right? Correct? Does this make sense? Why didn’t the nimble motorcycle avoid the car? Everyone knows that hitting a car is bad. Even motorcyclists. Perhaps the car turned into the motorcyclist (?). Motorcycles are smaller and harder to see than cars. An oncoming motorcycle’s speed can be hard to estimate, too.

MN Equal MC Access Law


(this law is currently on Minnesota's books and reflects, as far as we can tell, an attempt to eliminate discrimination towards bikers wearing club 'colors') Well, hey, it's a start...


Subd.1. [DEFINITIONS.] As used in this section:
(1) “place of public accommodation” has the meaning given in section
363.01, subdivision 33, but excludes recreational trails; and
(2) “criminal gang” has the meaning given in section 609.229,
subdivision 1.

The View From the Bunker

From On The Level October/November 2003

The View from the Bunker
by Bob Higdon


It is a popular misconception that the law has something to do with justice, equality, morality, or ethics. Wrong. The law is actually about a favorite technique of Haiti’s Tonton Macoute: draping a gasoline-soaked tire around a poor bastard’s neck and setting it afire. Find a lawyer who’s been in the courtroom trenches for a while, feed him six vodka martinis, and he’ll admit it. Forget right v. wrong, fair v. unfair, or justice v. injustice. Your goal is to be the first guy to find a tire, some gas, and a match. If you can locate those tools of justice before your opponent does, you’ll soon be farting through silk.

AMA Unveils New Initiative to Reduce Motorcycle Crashes

AMA Press Release, February 23, 2001:

AMA Unveils New Initiative to Reduce Motorcycle Crashes

The American Motorcyclist Association has launched a new initiative to battle a major cause of motorcycle crashes: other vehicles violating the right-ofway of motorcyclists.

Called Motorcyclists Matter, this multi-pronged effort is aimed directly at some of the most common accident scenarios involving motorcycles and cars -- cases in which drivers turn left in front of an oncoming motorcyclist, pull into the path of a motorcycle from a side street or cut into a lane occupied by a motorcycle.