Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

News Shorts

Written by  February 1, 2013

Helmet Recall: Vega Helmet Corp is recalling certain XTS model motorcycle helmets in L, XL and XXL sizes because they may not provide adequate impact protection based on federal safety standards. The company said the recall affects 30,546 helmets manufactured from May 2011 through October 2012.

In a document filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the company said the helmets fail to conform to certain requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218. They could increase the risk of injury to riders who wear them.

Vega had investigated the problem and said it stems from changes to the helmet’s shell and interior in 2011.

Under the recall, Vega will notify dealers and post public notices about the recall. It will replace the noncompliant helmets free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in late January. Owners may contact Vega at 425-656-0683.


Electric Motorcycle Incentive: If you have ever considered buying an electric motorcycle, there’s some incentive courtesy of the US government to do so. A ten percent federal tax credit for plug-in vehicles was included in the fiscal deal signed by President Obama in January. The bike must be a two- or three-wheeled plug-in electric designed “primarily for use on public streets, roads, and highways” and “capable of achieving a speed of 45 miles per hour or greater.” The credit, introduced by Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, would help the U.S. electric-motorcycle industry create 16,000 jobs over five years.


Lane Splitting: I am seeing it more and more, especially with kids on sports bikes and, if I have said this before, it bears repeating: No state except California allows lane splitting. Proponents of lane splitting feel it reduces incidences of rear-end collisions and helps to improve traffic flow. But only California allows it; for the other 49 states, it might get you a ticket.


Supersport Motorcycle Riders: The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) has released reports indicating that riders of supersport motorcycles are historically four times as likely to die in accidents as other motorcyclists. Although supersport motorcycles only make up about 9 percent of total motorcycle sales, they are involved in more than 25% of all fatalities. The death rate of 22.5 per 10,000 is almost four times higher than the rate for cruiser style motorcycles. A 2012 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R, produces 163 horsepower from a 998 cc engine and weighs 437 pounds, producing more power per pound than a typical NASCAR engine. By comparison, a 2012 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide comes in at 1690 ccs, has 66 horsepower, and weighs in at 889 pounds. The Ninja and other similar sport bikes are particularly attractive to young men who are generally inexperienced and drawn by their speed. The IIHS report cited speed as a factor in about 57 percent of crashes involving supersport motorcycles.