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Lynchburg Base Milwaulkee Iron to Close at End of Month

July 15, 2009 by · Comments Off on Lynchburg Base Milwaulkee Iron to Close at End of Month 

After 26 years of building motorcycles and other metal work, Milwaukee Iron will close at the end of the month.

The company with a global reputation is riding off because of the economy.

Work hasn’t stopped inside the Milwaulkee Iron warehouse, but Randy Simpson won’t be welding here much longer.

“I don’t want to sit here and wait for the next phone call,” owner Randy Simpson said. “I want to get out and enjoy myself a little bit while I still can.”

Simpson has made a living building custom choppers. But low demand has put him on the chopping block.

“It’s a pure economic decision. I’m tired of putting money into the company to keep it open.”

Simpson is shutting down and selling the business.

Conditions may not be good for Simpson to run Milwaukee Iron right now, but he says several people have shown an interest in taking over, so he feels like his business will carry on.

“Someone could come in here and take a $300,000 a year company and turn it into a $5 million dollar a year company.”

Whether that happens depends on who makes a bid when the company get auctioned off August 27th.

With more motorcycles on the road, keep safety in mind

July 1, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

State Police say the number of motorcycle accidents in our area is on the rise. You may remember two deadly accidents that happened last Friday. State Police say 59-year-old Ralph Carroll, Sr. was killed when a car turned in front of his motorcycle on Route 220 in Henry County.

Then there was a second deadly motorcycle accident on the same day, which shut down part of Interstate 81. State Police say a motorcycle rider was merging on I-81 from I-77 in Wytheville, when it ran off the road and crashed.

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Motorcycle fatalities jump 87 percent in Virginia

June 23, 2009 by · Comments Off on Motorcycle fatalities jump 87 percent in Virginia 

The Virginia State Police is hoping education and increased awareness will curb a dramatic jump in motorcycle-related fatalities over the past few years.

The commonwealth experienced an 87 percent jump in motorcycle fatalities in 2007, according to the most recent figures from the VSP.

As a result, the VSP launched its “Ride Smart, Arrive Alive” program to help curb the rise in fatalities.

The program consists of three objectives — education, enforcement and roadway management.

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Motorcycle Riders Foundation Urges Congress to Swiftly Pass ‘Right to Repair’

June 23, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Legislation Protects Individual Vehicle Ownership Rights Today and in the Future

BETHESDA, Md., June 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Motorcycle Riders Foundation strongly supports the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act (HR 2057) and urges Congress to swiftly pass the legislation in order to safeguard individual vehicle ownership rights today and in the future.

“We have formally committed our support to the Right to Repair Act because we believe that consumers are entitled to the right to choose how their motorcycle, car or other type of vehicle is maintained or upgraded. The point of Right to Repair is to protect the freedom of American consumers to choose how they take care of their vehicles, be it in their driveway or at a trusted repair facility, and to ensure that they have access to all the information required to complete service and repairs,” said Jeff Hennie, vice president of government relations for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation.

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Livin’ high on the hog: Annual Harley Owners Group state motorcycle rally roars into Roanoke

June 21, 2009 by · Comments Off on Livin’ high on the hog: Annual Harley Owners Group state motorcycle rally roars into Roanoke 

The average Harley-Davidson motorcycle is capable of roaring louder than 100 decibels, a noise that is eight times louder than a vacuum cleaner.

So it stands to reason that when about 1,750 Harleys descend on a city, as they will in Roanoke through the weekend, the thunder of all those bikes could compete with a jumbo jet full of screaming babies.

And, oh doctor, that’s the way Susan Thrift likes it. “It just makes your blood flow,” exclaimed the 56-year-old payroll administrator from Chesapeake, when asked about the roar. “It used to be annoying until you get on one.”

The state rally of the Harley Owners Groups, or HOGs, has begun. All 17 of the Virginia HOG chapters have rumbled into town on their Fat Boys, Sportsters and Road Kings for the four-day convention.

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400 motorcyclists will visit Staunton beginning this weekend

June 19, 2009 by · Comments Off on 400 motorcyclists will visit Staunton beginning this weekend 

STAUNTON — The sound of thundering exhaust pipes this weekend will be welcome music for many area businesses.

They’re expected to benefit from a stop by an estimated 400 out-of-town motorcyclists.

The Motorcycle Sport Touring Association’s riders will be staying Saturday through Wednesday at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center and other area hotels. The international group will be visiting area shops and driving local roadways as it makes Staunton its 2009 location for its annual rally and rendezvous.

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Motorcycle and Scooter Ride to Work Day is this coming Monday, June 15

June 9, 2009 by · Comments Off on Motorcycle and Scooter Ride to Work Day is this coming Monday, June 15 

Motorcycle and scooter riders’ 18th annual commuting day is this coming Monday, June 15th. Participation is estimated to triple the number of riders on the road. Motorcycle and scooter groups and organizations actively encourage riders to commute by cycle on this day.

Two wheeled commuters of all ages, and from all walks of life seek employer support for this form of transportation and increased public and government awareness of the positive value of riding.

More motorcycles and scooters in the mix of vehicles makes urban parking easier and traffic flow better, according to Ride to Work, a non-profit advocacy organization. Studies have also shown that across the same distances, the average cycle or scooter rider will reach their destinations in less time than automobile drivers. Many motorcycles and scooters also consume less resources per mile than automobiles.

“Riding to work on this day is fun and shows the positive value of motorcycling. For many people, riding is a socially responsible form of mobility that saves energy, helps the environment and provides a broad range of other public benefits,” stated Andy Goldfine, this year’s event organizer.

Rolling Thunder veterans change image of bikers

June 4, 2009 by · Comments Off on Rolling Thunder veterans change image of bikers 

On Memorial Day weekend in Washington, parents cheered and their babes waved little American flags at hundreds of bikers. What has happened in three decades to inspire this sea change in attitude toward bikers, a group that once was feared by average Americans?

In an event with the almost-menacing moniker Rolling Thunder, almost half a million motorcyclists rumbled across the Arlington Memorial Bridge, snaked around the Mall and dismounted en masse near the Lincoln Memorial. Most of the bikers were clad in black leather, many sported Visigothian manes and beards and almost all straddled brutish, black Harley-Davidsons or H-D clones.

The bad-boy biker image began decades ago. In Hollister, Calif., on the weekend of July Fourth, 1947, a motorcycle rally became rowdy. Some drunken participants (restless war veterans among them) were arrested, and Life magazine ran a story featuring a staged photograph from Hollister of a belching biker perched on his machine’s footpegs, surrounded by beer bottles. In 1953, Columbia Pictures projected a highly fictionalized and sensationalized version of the event on the silver screen in the Marlon Brando film “The Wild One.”

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