Friday, May 16, 2008

Darien Lake Theme Park Resort Launches New Orange County Choppers MotoCoaster

Theme Park Opens Seventh Roller Coaster

DARIEN LAKE, N.Y., May 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Darien Lake Theme Park Resort is thrilled to present the Orange County Choppers MotoCoaster to its guests. The ride, opening today, is the first of its kind to open in the country.

The Orange County Choppers MotoCoaster launches guests from zero to over 40 miles per hour in three seconds. Riders will ricochet around figure eight curves and turn on a dime as they swoop over 1,100 feet of track on this gnarly coaster. OCC MotoCoaster allows guests to hop aboard the chassis of their own extreme street modified sport bike and climb over 40 feet in the air as they reach speeds upwards of forty miles per hour. This coaster purrs as it hugs turns and corners the track while carving out a name for itself in the history books.

Darien Lake Theme Park Resort recently announced its strategic alliance with Orange County Choppers (OCC). The partnership, which is the first theme park alliance for OCC, includes the naming of Darien Lake's newest thrill ride. OCC will also build a custom bike inspired by the new ride and overall Darien Lake Theme Park Resort experience, to be featured on an upcoming episode of American Chopper.

The crew from OCC was on hand for the Grand Opening of the ride as they visited Darien Lake Theme Park Resort to experience the entire park first hand and gain inspiration for the custom OCC MotoCoaster motorcycle. On June 6th, the Teutuls will return to the park to unveil the finished custom bike which will remain on permanent display at Darien Lake Theme Park Resort. In addition Darien Lake Theme Park Resort guests will have the opportunity to win an exclusive Orange County Choppers production bike, painted with a unique Darien Lake design.
"We are thrilled to introduce the OCC MotoCoaster, the first of this kind of coaster in the country, to Western New York," said Christopher Thorpe, Darien Lake's General Manager. "The ride and our partnership with the Orange County Choppers continues to allow us to provide our guests with world class fun."

About Orange County Choppers, Inc.:
Paul Teutul, Sr., metalworker by trade and founder of Orange County Choppers, first began his business of building custom choppers out of the basement of his home in Montgomery, NY. With the creative help and following of his oldest son, Paul Jr., the two were soon on their way to the top with the success of Paul Sr.'s first bike, "True Blue" at Daytona Biketoberfest in 1999. From that point on, Paul Sr. knew he had something and established Orange County Choppers that same year.

The Teutuls were quickly becoming recognized by chopper enthusiasts everywhere. They were not only making a name for themselves in the custom bike world, but were picked up by the Discovery Channel in 2002 as the basis of what is now the hit television series, American Chopper. Their popularity has led them to build custom theme bikes for some of the biggest names in corporate America such as Intel, Sunoco and Hewlett-Packard. Today, Orange County Choppers is regarded as one of the world's premier builders of custom motorcycles.
About Darien Lake Theme Park Resort:

Darien Lake Theme Park Resort, owned and operated by PARC Management, is New York State's largest theme park and resort, located between Buffalo and Rochester, NY and just a short drive from Niagara Falls. The resort includes three on-site lodging choices including a 162-room themed hotel, RV rental and a 1,200 site campground. With more than 100 rides, shows and attractions, kids' park, waterpark and a 20,000-capacity outdoor concert venue, Darien Lake is the family vacation destination. For park hours and more information, please visit Photo: NewsCom: AP Archive: AP PhotoExpress Network: PRN8PRN Photo Desk,
Source: Darien Lake Theme Park Resort

Friday, April 4, 2008

Harley-Davidson Employees in Wisconsin Approve New Labor Agreements

MILWAUKEE, April 4, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- All three unions representing Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) employees in Wisconsin voted today to ratify new collective bargaining agreements with the Company. The new four-year agreements, which cover approximately 2,210 employees, became effective retroactive to April 1.

The Company has individual labor agreements with United Steelworkers (USW) Local 2-209, representing about 1,700 employees and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) Lodge 78, representing about 150 employees, in the Milwaukee area; and with USW Local 460 in Tomahawk, Wis., which represents about 360 employees.

"Harley-Davidson has a long history of working with our union partners to manage the business. We thank our employees and the union leaders for their important contributions to the success of these negotiations and to the success of Harley-Davidson," said Harold Scott, Harley-Davidson Vice President, Human Resources.

"The new contracts balance Harley Davidson's need to responsibly manage our business for the long term in a competitive global market with our desire to continue to provide a strong wage and benefits package for employees," Scott said.
In addition to improvements in wages, the new contracts provide for the establishment of Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) for bargaining unit employees, under which they can use HRA dollars to help pay for out of pocket health care costs. Other health care plan provisions are designed to moderate the rise in plan costs yet maintain Harley-Davidson's position as a provider of top-tier health care benefits.

Harley-Davidson, Inc. is the parent company for the group of companies doing business as Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Buell Motorcycle Company and Harley-Davidson Financial Services, Inc. Harley-Davidson Motor Company, the only major U.S.-based motorcycle manufacturer, produces heavyweight motorcycles and offers a complete line of motorcycle parts, accessories, apparel, and general merchandise. Buell Motorcycle Company produces sport motorcycles in addition to motorcycle parts, accessories and apparel. Harley-Davidson Financial Services, Inc. provides wholesale and retail financing and insurance programs to Harley-Davidson dealers and customers.

Source: Harley-Davidson, Inc.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Harley-Davidson Continues Epic Ride With Once-in-a-Lifetime Concert Events

- Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Daughtry, Black Crowes, ZZ Top, Buddy Guy and More to Perform During the Motor Company's 105th Anniversary -

MILWAUKEE, Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Harley-Davidson's 105th Anniversary Celebration in late August is shaping up as the music event of 2008 with today's announcement that Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, along with Billboard 200's top-selling artist Daughtry, will headline separate concerts over the course of the four-day event in Milwaukee.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will perform a concert on Saturday evening, August 30, at a venue Harley-Davidson has dubbed Roadhouse at the Lakefront, located just north of the Milwaukee Art Museum. Daughtry, who burst onto the music scene in 2006 to become today's hottest-selling artist, will perform at the Summerfest grounds, also on Saturday evening, August 30.

Springsteen and Daughtry headline the entertainment line-up for Harley-Davidson's 105th Anniversary, with additional acts including Los Lonely Boys, Black Crowes, ZZ Top, Peter Frampton and Buddy Guy. These artists, along with Daughtry and others will perform during two days of entertainment and activities at the Summerfest grounds on Friday, August 29 and Saturday, August 30, 2008.

"Our 105th Anniversary entertainment line-up is second to none and really epitomizes the diversity of the Harley-Davidson family and experiences," said Joanne Bischmann, vice president, Licensing and Special Events. "We're very excited to welcome home our extended family to Milwaukee as we celebrate the future of Harley-Davidson."

The complete entertainment line-up for the August 29-30, 105th Anniversary Celebration at the Summerfest grounds includes:
* The Black Crowes * Black Rebel Motorcycle Club * Blind Melon
* Blue Oyster Cult * Buddy Guy * Cameo
* The Crave * Daughtry * Dierks Bentley
* Dr. John * Gary Allan * Foghat
* Peter Frampton * Joan Jett and the Blackhearts * Los Lonely Boys
* Puddle of Mudd * War * ZZ Top

Admission to the Daughtry concert at the Summerfest grounds is included with the two-day Harley-Davidson 105th Anniversary Celebration ticket package. Admission to the Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concert requires a separate ticket purchase in addition to the Harley-Davidson 105th Anniversary Celebration ticket.
Harley-Davidson 105th Anniversary Celebration ticket packages are currently on sale for $60.00 plus $5.00 tax, shipping and handling at The ticket package includes a laminated event ticket good for a two-day entry to the Summerfest grounds, a signature 105th folio, a one-time entry to the Discovery World and its special Harley-Davidson exhibit, an event guide, a Signature 105th Anniversary copper wristband, a commemorative key chain, and a 105th Anniversary flag and American flag.

Tickets for the August 30 Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band concert at the Roadhouse at the Lakefront are limited and will go on sale April 5, 2008, at 105th Anniversary Celebration ticket holders will be eligible for the opportunity to purchase one general admission ticket to the Springsteen concert on a first-come, first-served basis, while supplies last, for each 105th Anniversary Celebration ticket they have purchased. Cost of the separate ticket for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concert is $40.00, plus $2.50 shipping and handling.

The Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) previously announced a major concert for its 25th Anniversary featuring Aerosmith and Kid Rock at Miller Park, Thursday, August 28, 2008. Only H.O.G. members have the opportunity to purchase tickets to the concert, which go on sale March 12, 2008. The concert follows the free day-long Club H.O.G. 25 event for H.O.G. members on the Miller Park grounds.

In true Harley-Davidson style, the Harley-Davidson 105th Anniversary Celebration will also feature four days of non-stop activities throughout Milwaukee.
While many 105th Anniversary events will be available only to ticket holders, the Main Street at the Lakefront exposition, an outdoor festival will be free and open to everyone. This venue will also have free motorcycle parking and will be a perfect meeting and gathering place. There will also be free events at Harley-Davidson facilities in the area, and of course, the 105th Anniversary Parade on Saturday, August 30, 2008, will be a must see event.

For more information on all the 105th activities and the limited edition 105th motorcycles, and to order a 105th Anniversary ticket package, visit
Harley-Davidson Motor Company, the only major U.S.-based motorcycle manufacturer, produces heavyweight motorcycles and a complete line of motorcycle parts, accessories and general merchandise. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson's web site at
Source: Harley-Davidson Motor Company

Thursday, November 22, 2007

New helmet safety rating scheme could save 50 lives a year

London, 22 November/GNN/ -- pioneering new Government motorcycle helmet safety rating scheme whichcould save the lives of 50 riders a year was officially launched today by Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick.

In a world first, SHARP - the Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme -will give an independent rating of how much protection a helmet can providein an impact. Helmets will be rated from 1 to 5 stars depending how wellthey perform in our laboratory tests.

All helmets on sale in the UK must offer the wearer a minimum levelof protection, but tests show there are real differences in safetyperformance. SHARP's objective advice, based on rigorous testing, willhelp riders choose a safer helmet by measuring the extent to which a helmetexceeds the minimum standards.

Speaking at the Road Safety Expo 07 in London today, Road Safety MinisterJim Fitzpatrick said:
"Our research indicates that even though all helmets have to reach a minimumlegal standard, safety performance can vary by as much as 30%. The SHARPscheme being officially launched today will allow riders to select a saferhelmet on the basis of a simple star rating system."

This is a vital step forward. Motorcyclists are one of the single mostvulnerable groups on GB roads today. They account for just 1% of all roadtraffic, but for 20% of all those killed or seriously injured. We estimatethat if all riders wore helmets that scored well in our rating system,the SHARP scheme could save up to 50 lives a year."During his speech, Jim Fitzpatrick also announced the launch of the DrivingStandard Agency's Enhanced Rider Scheme. This is aimed at enhancing the roadsafety skills of the motorcycle and scooter riders already on the roads. TheAgency has been working with the motorcycle industry to devise a new trainingpackage for the benefit of all riders with a full motorcycle licence. Thosewho pass the Enhanced Rider Scheme will get a certificate that will put themin line for discounts on their insurance.

The first SHARP results are expected to be available next Spring, withthe majority of helmets on the market tested before the end of 2008. Earlyresults show that good performance is not restricted to premium price helmets.

For more information about the SHARP programme, visit the SHARP website, or email
Notes to Editors

1. Motorcyclists are our most vulnerable road users. Last year 23,326motorcyclists were injured in accidents, with 599 being killed.

2. Head injuries occur in 80% of all motorcyclist fatalities and in 70%of these the head injury is the most serious.

3. Currently no comparative rating system is available on motorcycle helmetsanywhere in the world.

4. Helmets sold in the UK must meet the minimum standards of UN ECE Regulation22.05 or comply with British Standard 6658:1985. SHARP will assess theextent to which helmets offer protection above these minimum requirements.

5. Initially, SHARP will concentrate on assessing full-face helmets.Ultimately, all helmets will be rated by SHARP.

6. SHARP will be promoted in partnership with the THINK! road safety campaign,which already gives advice to motorcyclists via the THINK! Academy. SeeSHARP and THINK! at the NEC, Hall 2 2E50 from today until 2 December.

7. For more information about the DSA's Enhanced Rider Scheme log on

Press Enquiries: 020 7944 3066Out of Hours: 020 7944 4292Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300

Department for Transport Website:

Source: Department for Transport

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Takata's Motorcycle Airbag Named 2008 Automotive News PACE Award Finalist

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Takata, a leading global supplier of automotive safety systems, has been named a finalist for the 2008 Automotive News PACE (Premier Automotive Suppliers' Contribution to Excellence) Award, for their pioneering advances in motorcycle airbags. The motorcycle airbag was developed by Takata in a partnership with Honda Motor Company, and is currently available to consumers on the 2008 Honda Gold Wing.

Takata's motorcycle airbag design is the first on the market for motorcycle applications, and Honda is the only manufacturer to currently offer the technology. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates approximately 5,000 people are killed annually from motorcycle accidents, and the motorcycle airbag was developed specifically to address this situation by improving motorcycle crashworthiness.

"As a company dedicated to the development of automotive life-saving technology advancements, we are elated to be recognized for our motorcycle airbag design," said Alby Berman, vice president of communications, Takata. "Our long-standing partnership with Honda Motor Company has enabled this ground-breaking technology to prove its life-saving application."

Recognizing superior innovation, technological advancement and business performance, the Automotive News PACE Award is open to suppliers that contribute products, processes, information technology, materials or services directly to the manufacture of cars or trucks. The award is accepted around the world as the industry symbol of innovation. Takata, along with other Automotive News PACE Award finalists, will undergo an extensive review process - including a site visit - by industry, academic and business leaders to select award winners, to be announced at a gala ceremony in Detroit on April 14, 2008.

The PACE Award, presented by Automotive News with Microsoft, SAP and the Transportation Research Center Inc. (TRC Inc.), is recognized throughout the industry as the "Academy Award for Automotive Innovation" and honors innovations, technological advancements and business performance among automotive suppliers. This award sets industry standards and recognizes suppliers who exceed expectations of their OEM customers and automotive consumers. Winners of the 14th annual PACE Awards are selected by an independent panel of judges and will be announced April 14, 2008. For complete details of the 2008 Automotive News PACE Award, visit

Takata, the world's leading supplier of automotive safety belts, has a long history of safety innovation and provides a host of safety technologies with the goal of protecting human life. The company's product portfolio includes seat belts, front- and side-impact protection, electronics and textiles. The company, with its North American headquarters in Auburn Hills, is involved in many consumer and government safety efforts, including being a corporate sponsor and active board member of the Traffic Improvement Association of Michigan.

Source: Takata

Monday, October 15, 2007

Custom Roland Sands Design Bike To Benefit Ride for Kids® Efforts

Bike to Tour with Cycle World International Motorcycle Shows® to Raise Awareness and Funds
Newport Beach, Calif., (October 15, 2007) – Start with a 2007 Honda CBR1000RR, add the customizing talents of the Roland Sands Design crew and you get a one-of-a-kind sportbike – the ConqueRR. But what makes this motorcycle truly special is the reason for its creation – to benefit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and its Ride for Kids® program.

The ConqueRR’s mission is to support the Ride for Kids® motorcycle charity events in their fundraising efforts for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, which seeks to find the cause of and the cure for childhood brain tumors. This is accomplished through participating in a drawing at one of the 13 Cycle World International Motorcycle Shows to win this unique machine as well as by raising awareness of the 37 Ride for Kids® events that take place across the United States each year.

“The RSD ConqueRR project is exciting to all of us,” said National Ride for Kids® Director Kyle Clack. “To combine Roland’s vision, a Honda CBR1000RR and the focused mission of Ride for Kids® is an amazing way to positively affect the lives of these brave young children and their families. Our combined love of motorcycling translates directly into hope for a better future.”

Designed to reflect the fighting spirit that is so much a part of the small heroes who face these devastating brain tumors, the ConqueRR is the result of a collaboration of companies from across the motorcycling world. Starting with a machine that is already on the cutting edge of sportbike technology and style made the customizing task a tough one. Sands and his group concentrated on cleaning many of the bike’s lines – taking a very detailed package to the next level.

“It’s my honor to donate my skills as a motorcycle designer and builder to Ride for Kids,” said Roland Sands. “I hope to inspire my fellow motorcycle enthusiasts to buy a ticket not only to win this bike, but to support these amazing kids.”

Built by Roland Sands Design, the bike features prototype RSD “Assault” Gold Anodized Ultra-Light Weight Wheels, RSD “Combat” crash sliders, RSD “Combat” triple trees, RSD “Combat” reservoir covers, RSD “Combat” mirror clean-up kit, and one off grips. The custom paint job is courtesy of Chris Wood at Airtrix, who has painted most of RSD’s custom motorcycle fleet. Performance-minded upgrades are included throughout the bike in the form of Performance Machine radial mount brake calipers, Erion Racing headwork, cam and custom exhaust, Speigler brake lines, Dunlop Tires, DID chain, and a HotBodies Racing undertail section and windscreen.

“The ConqueRR is the latest example of the generosity and caring spirit of the motorcycle industry,” said Cycle World Magazine Marketing Director Corey Eastman. “For all of us that have had the honor to work on this and other Ride for Kids projects, it is gratifying to see our passion for motorcycling benefit the kids and families facing this battle for life.”

The ConqueRR will be displayed as part of the Cycle World booth at each of the 13 Cycle World International Motorcycle Show stops. Ride for Kids® representatives will be on site at each event encouraging participation in the motorcycle drawing and educating attendees about upcoming Ride for Kids® events. For more information or to enter the drawing without attending a show, visit

For the 15th consecutive year, Cycle World, the world’s most popular motorcycle magazine, is the title sponsor for the series and leading manufacturer Toyota will return for the 10th year as presenting sponsor. The Cycle World International Motorcycle Shows® presented by Toyota is the world’s largest powersports show series. For more information on upcoming tour dates, call 800/331-5706 or visit

The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s Ride for Kids® program, started in 1984, has raised more than $37 million to find the cause of and cure for childhood brain tumors. Thanks to the generous support of the motorcycling community, the PBTF has become the world’s largest non-governmental source of funding for childhood brain tumor research. The Foundation also provides family support through college scholarships, educational literature, newsletters, online resources and informational broadcasts. For more information, please go to

Saturday, October 13, 2007

AAA Opposes HB 4749, Which Provides 'Opt-Out' Option for State's Helmet Law

$100 fee makes it OK to go without helmet?
DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The State House passed legislation today (October 11) that would enable motorcyclists to ride without their helmets on Michigan roads. In their latest bid to rid riders of their helmets, special interest groups in Lansing have proposed an 'opt-out' solution. For a $100 fee, motorcyclists would have the chance to buy their way out of a helmet.
American Bikers Aiming Toward Education (ABATE) conceived the bill, which would require riders to be 21 years or older, licensed to operate a motorcycle for at least two years, complete a motorcycle safety course and have insurance or security of $20,000 for first-party medical benefits in the event of an accident.
"It's like a 'get out of jail free card,'" said AAA Michigan Community Safety Services Manager Jack Peet. "Those who can afford the fee don't have to wear a helmet; everyone else does."
The reality, added Peet, is that no one can afford HB 4749, which would result in 22 additional fatalities each year, along with 132 more incapacitating injuries, 610 other injuries and $140 million in added economic costs to Michigan citizens.
"If the mandatory helmet requirement is repealed or waived through a fee, there will be a significant increase in severe head injuries and deaths," said Peet. "Studies show that in a crash, unhelmeted motorcyclists are three times more likely than helmeted cyclists to suffer traumatic brain injuries."
In addition, motorcycle crashes account for a disproportionate share of money paid out of the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA), a fund which is supported by a surcharge on every auto insurance policy in this state. Although motorcyclists represent 1.7 percent of the assessments paid into the MCCA, they account for 6.7 percent of all claims reported.
Since its inception in 1978, MCCA has reimbursed member insurers more than $210 million for 503 motorcycle injury claims exceeding the threshold. Total reimbursement for all claims exceeds $4.4 billion. If the mandatory helmet law is repealed, serious injuries to motorcyclists will rise. Since Michigan's no-fault law allows lifetime benefits for all "reasonable and necessary" medical costs, the number of claims and the amount paid by the MCCA to reimburse insurance companies will increase, causing all policyholders in Michigan to pay more.
The $20,000 first-party medical benefit touted by ABATE, says Peet, wouldn't begin to cover these catastrophic expenses.
In addition to increased medical costs passed on to taxpayers, Motorcycle deaths and injuries are on the rise after the repeal of mandatory helmet laws in Florida, Kentucky and Louisiana. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that in the three years after Florida's repeal of its mandatory helmet law in 2000, 933 motorcyclists were killed, an 81 percent increase.
Another study found that fatalities grew by more than 50 percent in Kentucky and 100 percent in Louisiana after those states struck down mandatory helmet laws.
Opponents of the mandatory helmet law believe that it infringes on individual freedom of choice and the right to privacy. They argue that individuals who do not wear helmets harm mainly themselves. However, that is really not the case. The consequences of that person's decision not to wear a helmet is borne by all of society through higher insurance premiums, lost productivity and increased health care costs.
In Florida after the helmet law was repealed, the cost of hospital care for motorcycle injuries grew from $21 million to $44 million in the 30 months after the law changed.
AAA Michigan offers automotive, travel, insurance and financial services to more than 1.6 million members in Michigan. It is part of The Auto Club Group (ACG), the largest affiliation of AAA clubs in the Midwest, with approximately 4.1 million members in eight states. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation, a not-for-profit organization with more than 50 million members in the United States and Canada.
First Call Analyst: FCMN Contact:
Source: AAA Michigan