Thursday, December 14, 2017

Motorcycle Mama rides again at age 94

San Diego, California (December 14, 2017) — The last time Millie Koenig rode a motorcycle was in 1949, but the feel of the wind in her face and the thrill of the open road was a sensation the 94-year-old Escondido widow never quite got out of her system.

So when Koenig’s retirement home recently offered to grant a wish from her bucket list, she didn’t hesitate. On Saturday, Koenig climbed on a motorcycle once again and rode, as a passenger, in the Escondido Jaycees Christmas Parade.

Dressed in black leather riding chaps and jacket and a festive Christmas sweater and red knit gloves, she beamed and waved to the crowds from the back seat of the 2016 Victory Cross Country Touring cycle piloted by Mick Sobczak, president of the American Legion Riders Chapter 149.

Millie Koenig, 94, waves from the back of Mick Sobczak's motorcycle in the Escondido Jaycees Christmas Parade on Saturday. She was granted her wish to ride again, the first time in 68 years, through a "bucket list" wish-granting program at her Cypress Court retirement home.

“How do I feel? I’m flabbergasted. This is all just so wonderful,” said Koenig, who gave up cycling for more se Motorcycles were a hobby Koenig enjoyed with her first husband when they lived in Big Spring, Texas, from 1947 to 1949. Back then, the couple was so poor they couldn’t afford windshields for their Harley-Davidsons. So to avoid a mouthful of flying insects whenever she rode, Koenig said, in a characteristic quip, “I learned to not talk.”

“It was fascinating,” she said of cycling. “There was plenty of fresh air and I loved it, even when the sands blew. And the people in the motorcycle club were so friendly, even though I was a Yankee.”

A 1947 photo of Millie Koenig on her Harley-Davidson in Big Spring, Texas. (Millie Koenig)

Koenig was born in 1923 in the Bronx and worked as a secretary in a Manhattan office near the Empire State Building. She was 24 when she met and married her first husband, a war veteran, who moved her to Texas where he’d landed a railroad job.

They lived in a barren housing project where she cooked and heated their bathwater over a kerosene stove. It was a difficult and dreary life, so the local cycling club was a welcome respite. Within two years, her husband lost his job, so they moved to Chula Vista to live with his family and they reluctantly gave up their motorcycles.

Two years after she gave birth to their son, her husband abandoned them right before Christmas in 1953. She realized later he had been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from World War II.

Destitute and with no family on the West Coast, she found a job as a secretary in the Chula Vista school district offices and she swore off marriage for good. That was, until she met Fred Koenig, at a local square-dancing party. He was widowed with three boys ages 9 to 12. They married in 1961 and moved to Escondido, where they joined Emmanuel Faith Community Church and he ran a successful plumbing business.

Millie Koenig, 94,is fitted with a motorcycle helmet by Mick Sobczak of the American Legion Riders. She was granted her wish to ride again, the first time in 68 years, through a "bucket list" wish-granting program at her Cypress Court retirement home in Escondido. (Pam Kragen/San Diego U-T)

Life was good until a series of tragedies struck in the 1970s. When Fred’s youngest son was killed in a motorcycle accident, he had a nervous breakdown and could no longer work. Millie went back to work to support her family, this time for the Escondido school district. Then, in 1978, her husband died in a hang-gliding accident.

She credits her deep religious faith with getting her through those difficult years.

“I believe God had a plan for me,” she said. “He never gave me more than I could handle.”

After her husband’s death, Koenig gave up square dancing.

“When you don’t have a partner, you get potluck. I mostly got pot, so I quit,” she joked.

Instead, she took up volunteer work. She collected clothing for orphans in Eastern Europe and went on church mission trips. About 20 years ago, she began volunteering as a reading teacher at Conway Elementary School in Escondido, where she said her greatest reward is “seeing all the kids running up to me to say, ‘Miss Millie! Miss Mille!’”

Millie Koenig, 94, with Mick Sobczak of the American Legion Riders. She was granted her wish to ride again, the first time in 68 years, through a "bucket list" wish-granting program at her Cypress Court retirement home in Escondido. (Pam Kragen/San Diego U-T)

“She is who I want to be when I grow up,” said Debbie Gemmill, who runs Conway’s Everyone a Reader program. “In all the things that have happened to Millie over the years, I’ve never been greeted by her with anything but a smile. She’s just a genuinely happy person.”

Four years ago, Koenig moved into Cypress Court retirement community, where wellness director Judy Lucous runs the “Dreams Do Come True” program.

She started the program in 2012 when a resident on hospice expressed a desire to go shopping one last time. Lucous was able to take the woman to the mall before she died. Since then, Cypress Court has granted four more wishes, including taking one resident up in a tethered hot-air balloon, another para-sailing and a third for a brief sail on a wheelchair-modified catamaran.

In September, 94-year-old Pauline Lawrence had her wish granted to ride a bicycle again. Lawrence was seated on the curb in front of Cypress Court bright and early Saturday morning to watch her friend Koenig roll by in the parade.

“It couldn’t happen to a nicer person,” Lawrence said. “Millie is like the ambassador for Cypress Court. Everyone loves her.”

Lucous said Koenig has become an important part of the greeting committee for new residents at Cypress Court. She crochets hand towels for every newcomer. She also has brought in Conway students to perform for residents.

“Millie is the life of our community,” Lucous said. “Her light shines wherever she goes and she is always doing so much for her fellow residents. We wanted to make this happen for her so that we could give the woman who truly embodies the Cypress Court spirit the opportunity to make her wish come true.”

When Koenig asked Lucous about taking a motorcycle ride, she thought it would just be a quick spin around the block. But Lucous enlisted Sobczak, and he invited Millie for a ride in the parade. Lucous also was invited to ride as the guest of chapter member Gary Teicher.

Motorcycling has come a long way since 1949. Instead of a leather cap and goggles, Koenig wore an aerodynamic helmet with piped-in Christmas music and fancy leather riding gear borrowed from a friend. She’s known for dressing to the nines in thrift-shop finds, and was decked out Saturday in holiday gear from her Christmas tree earrings to her polka-dot socks.

Koenig’s three surviving sons don’t live nearby, so they weren’t on hand to see her ceremonial ride on Saturday. She’ hoping to surprise them with photos when she gathers this Christmas with some of her 16 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren.

“My riding days gave me some of my fondest memories and provided me with a sense of courage and independence I don’t know I would’ve found otherwise,” she said. “I’m so excited to be riding again ... and in a parade, too. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing.”


SOURCE: San Diego Union Tribune
STORY BY: Pam Kragen

Monday, December 11, 2017

Bundy:The biker dog that raises funds for charity

Sidney, Australia (December 10, 2017) — How do you teach an Australian stumpy-tailed cattle dog to ride a behind the wheel of a motorcycle? Start by pushing the dog sitting on the motorbike up and down the driveway, said Tex O'Grady who owns the dog, Bundy. Then a lap of the block. Turn the engine on next time. "Eventually that block becomes a lap of Australia," Mr O'Grady said.


Bundy the cattle dog has now clocked up one million kms behind the wheel of a motorbike to raise funds for charity.  Photo: Helen Nezdropa

Eleven years of riding around Australia turned into 1 million kilometres (without a scratch or a crash) late last month when the two were returning from a quick 3000-kilometre round trip to Broken Hill.

Bundy, 11, and Mr O'Grady, 61, are both recovering from trauma. Bundy broke her back and was paralysed when she was four. She was rehabilitated, with the help of a long support sling under her back, fan letters from children urging the dog and her vet to keep going, and physiotherapy that Mr O'Grady still does before and after long rides.

Mr O'Grady joined the navy at 15, and spent most of his career as a coxswain on a submarine. Most of what he did is still classified. But a few years after leaving the military, he was diagnosed with severe post traumatic stress disorder related to his time at sea, which he said may account for three failed marriages by the time he was 35.

"I went through a couple of marriages, and got a told a couple of times that I needed help." 

Tex O'Grady and Bundy, who have ridden 1 million kilometres by motorbike for charity. 
Photo: Helen Nezdropa

He found if he talked about his PTSD, he could keep on top of it.

"I now ride for PTSD awareness and for emergency services personnel," he said.
Bundy is a registered assistance animal, who received training from non-profit Young Diggers, which trains therapy dogs and veterans suffering from PTSD.

Bundy is the only dog in Australia who has permission - except in the Northern Territory and South Australia - to ride between the handlebar and the driver of a vehicle. Because of Mr O'Grady's PTSD, Bundy was granted an exemption from regulation 297-3 of the Australian Road Rules. It prohibits an animal from riding on the motor bike between the rider and the handlebars.

Sitting on top of the sheepskin-lined petrol tank of Mr O'Grady's Italian Moto Guzzi 1200 Stelvio, Bundy wears goggles, a leather jacket and a harness under the jacket tying the dog to Mr O'Grady.

"If I was to fall off, she would come with me," he said. Mr O'Grady says Bundy is far safer than a dog riding in the back of a ute.

The pair have ridden about 85,000 kilometres around Australia this year to attend fundraisers, from small events for children with rare illnesses to those held by larger organisations.

These include fundraising for Red Nose Day in the Great Australian Ride, the White Ribbon Campaign, prostate cancer, organ donation, the police, and events to raise funds and support for veterans and emergency workers with PTSD.

During the week, Mr O'Grady and Bundy also visit nursing homes and hospitals.

After he was diagnosed with PTSD, Mr O'Grady found the only place he felt relaxed was on his motorbike on the open road.

"You are on your own, nobody is inside your head. I love it, there is nothing better than being on the open road on a day like today. Got my dog there. My helmet's full of thoughts, and I am the world's best singer and joke teller until I take it off."

He can't handle confrontation or crowded places. "And I don't sit with my back to the door. If I am sitting in a cafe, I always sit where I can see a door or an entrance."

Young Diggers says dogs like Bundy are like "dog medicine" for veterans with PTSD.

"Your ability to cope will improve because you are no longer alone in this painful journey; you have a soul mate in your dog who is ever-loyal and compassionate."

SOURCE: The Sidney Morning Herald

Monday, November 20, 2017

Bikers across Texas are fed up with law enforcement

Killeen, TX  (November 20, 2017) —Biker Switchboard — The sound of their motorcycle exhaust pipes will get your attention, but bikers say they do not want to cause fear or intimidation.

Bikers across Texas said they have had enough with law enforcement calling them corrupt and criminals. They said since the deadly Twin Peaks shooting happened in May of 2015, there has been a bad stigma attached to their motorcycle clubs.


"We're totally involved in our community, but you never hear about that. All you hear is about is the crap when they bust some of the big boys," Wolverine Motorcycle Club member Mike Drutter said.

More than 100 bikers, including veterans, showed up at Scooters Bar and Grill Sunday in Garland for a Region 2 Confederation of Clubs and Independents meeting.

"The COCI was started for righteous reasons. We work legislative issues, and we work charitable issues," Mel Moss of Sons of Liberty Motorcycle club said.

They also discussed biker's rights, and encouraged bikers to show comradery toward one another. In less than five minutes, they raised $660 in a hat for a biker who is battling health issues. Drutter said despite negative opinions, they are actually good people.

"If a family is in need we're right there for them. If someone gets hurt, we're there for them," Drutter said.

The latest motorcycle news to hit the state of Texas was the mistrial of Dallas Bandido Jake Carrizal. Drutter said since the Twin Peaks shooting, motorcycle clubs have been given a bad rap by both police and the public, and that they are viewed as criminals.



"This whole label of gangs and organized criminal activity is crap. The worst my people do is get arrested for a speeding ticket every now and then," Drutter said.

When Moss heard that the Twin peaks trial was a mistrial, he said was elated. He feels the state presented a weak case and the second trial for Jake Carrizal will have the same outcome.

"Abel Reyna made multiple, multiple blunders along the way. Of course we're not going to tell him what they are. I think he's his own worst enemy,” Moss said.

Moss said after the Twin Peaks shooting happened, bikers started to take a stand. They felt the police were not telling the whole truth about the shooting.

"And it became an issue that we followed and we continue to follow, because we feel that it’s our job to expose the truth of it all,” he said.

SOURCE:  KCENTV


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Bikers verses Bullies

Bikers escort 14-year-old girl to school after teen says she was bullied

WAXAHACHIE, Texas (November 10, 2017) — A 14-year-old girl had a lot of support as she headed to her Texas high school on Friday.

Christian’s mother, Dshannon Aday, told WFAA, her daughter is a survivor, not a victim. “We had a situation earlier this week where another child got up, walked across the room, and took a chunk of hair out of my child’s hair while she was doing her work.”

One of the bikers who rides with the Guardians of the Children Motorcycle Club said the goal is to give strength to children who are going through things like this.

WFAA reached out to the school district; due to privacy laws, they said they could not say if the accused bully had been punished or not.

A school spokesperson told WFAA, the district emphasizes “anti-bullying throughout our curriculum on all campuses.”



Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Build By Paul Teutul Jr.

A Reflection on Faith, Family, and My Time on “American Chopper

Paul Teutul Jr. starred on American Chopper with “Paulie” and his father, Paul Sr., building custom choppers together. After his time on the reality show, he started his own business, Paul Jr. Designs. Today, Paul Jr. Designs continues to thrive, producing custom bikes for a variety of individual and corporate clients. The Build is his first book.

“It remains humorous to me that after ten years of appearing on a reality television show, the question I am most often asked, by far, is whether what happened on our show was, well, real. But then again, the dynamic that made “American Chopper” a global phenomenon did appear unreal, prompting the two to three million viewers tuning in on Monday nights to hope – even pray – that the volatile relationship between my father and me was too bad to be true.

The premise of the show was simple: a father and son work together to build custom motorcycles. 

“American Chopper” worked because the bikes and our relationship were jaw dropping. For 10 seasons and 233 one-hour episodes, my father and I were often a train wreck that proved equally as difficult to turn away from as to watch. And yes, it was real. In fact, I believe that because of my relationship with my father, “American Chopper” not only was the most real reality show, but it was the first true reality show that didn’t involve surviving on an island.

Paul Teutul Jr. riding one of his custom choppers

The arguments, shouting matches, door slamming, and wall punching were no different from my life growing up with my father, working for him in the steel business, and then building custom bikes together. The only difference with “American Chopper” was that there were cameras around, recording our blowups for the world to see.

I have learned that there are many people with stories similar to mine – people who are part of, or are directly impacted by, an abnormal relationship. I have nodded in understanding while listening to fans of our show describe their relationships gone bad. I have even talked with one man who might have had a worse relationship with his father than I did with mine.

Those conversations are one reason I decided to write The Build. I have been married to Rachael for seven years now, and our strong relationship is one my parents did not have. Our son, Hudson, is almost three years old, and our father-son dynamic will be the complete opposite of what I grew up with. I have faith that will be the case… because of my faith. And when the opportunity arose to write a book about choppers, my family, and my faith, I said, “I’ve got to do this.”

Seeing my relationship with my father play out on a reality show for ten years was difficult because our society tends to keep such problems hidden. It has been difficult to detail in this book my bad experiences with my father because he is my dad, and I love him – I have long desired to have a nor­mal relationship with him.

But I kept it real on “American Chopper,” and I am keeping it real in this book, because I know there are too many others who will nod in understand­ing as they read my story. I’ve always liked having my freedom, and since the show ended, I have been able to make my own schedule for building bikes while also spending time with Rachael and, of course, Hudson. From my early teens until I was almost forty, I’d estimate that I worked two lifetimes’ worth of hours.

Hudson was born two-and-a-half years after we stopped filming the show. It isn’t easy to look back and say with certainty what I would have done in a hypothetical situation, but if Hudson had been born while the show was still filming, I know I wouldn’t have been around him as much as I have been. I can’t even imagine that.

Life is great. And I think the best is yet to come. I don’t know if that means another show or another baby. Or both! But I don’t think I’m done with television.

The way our show ended with big ratings for the second live build-off leads me to believe there is equity there for another show. Part of me asks, why would you want to do that again? But barely in my forties, I believe I’m in the prime of my creativity.”

SOURCE: Paul Jr. Designs

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Motorcycle lands on man at Sturgis

Motorcycle accident at Buffalo Chip leads to several lawsuits

STURGIS, SD. (October 19, 2017) — An Alaska man who had a motorcycle land on him during a show at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has filed a lawsuit against the rider, the bike manufacturer and the show host.

Royce Rath was in the crowd during the Aug. 7, 2016, concert that featured performances by Lita Ford and Kid Rock. Between those performances, a designed and modified for race Indian motorcycle without a front brake was driven on stage by Roland Sands. The bike failed to stop and rolled off the stage, landing on Rath, who was one of four people injured in the accident. 

The Buffalo Chip's Main Stage

The bike was designed on purpose without front brakes.

Rath suffered permanent disability, medical expenses and the loss of wages and earning capacity, according to his lawsuit. Besides filing suit against Sands and Polaris Industries Inc., the owner of Indian Motorcycles, the suit names the Buffalo Chip Campground, which hosted the show, for failing to use reasonable care to ensure the safety of Rath and others watching the show.

The lawsuit says “Defendant Buffalo Chip Campground, LLC, knew or should have known that allowing an individual to ride on a motorcycle without front brakes, across the stage surrounded by patrons, could endanger those patrons”



SOURCE: Argus Leader

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

‘American Chopper’ Returns

Discovery Channels "American Chopper" Returns in 2018

ORANGE COUNTY, NY. (October 18, 2017) —The motorcycle building series American Chopper, starring father and son duo Paul Teutul Sr. and Paul Teutul Jr., returns to Discovery in winter 2018. The series, showcasing the battling Teutuls and the bikes they build, aired on Discovery and TLC from 2002 to 2012.

“American Chopper was one of Discovery’s most popular series ever,” said Rich Ross, group president of Discovery, Animal Planet and Science. “Everyone is eager to see what the Teutul family has been up to. This winter, you’ll find out.”

The Orange County Chopper team

The Teutuls boast A-list celebrities as clients. Paul Sr. has revamped Orange County Choppers in Newburgh, N.Y., turning it into a complex with a shop, cafĂ©, bowling alley, restaurant and showroom. Paul Jr. has a son of his own. According to Discovery, “The two estranged builders also hope to reconcile their infamously fractured relationship.”

American Chopper is produced for Discovery Channel by Original Productions in association with executive producer Craig Piligian. For Original Productions, executive producers are Jeff Bumgarner, Sarah Whalen, Ernie Avila and Matt Braley. For Discovery, executive producers are Craig Coffman and Todd Lefkowitz.

SOURCE: Fox News

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

WATCH: South Bend Indiana Biker Gets Final Wish

Indiana Bikers come together to honor dying man's last wish

SOUTH BEND, IN. (June 13, 2017) — An awesome group of motorcycle riders in Indiana came together to fulfill a terminally ill cancer patient’s last wish: To hear a Harley one last time.

Matt Hampton took the liberty of organizing a group to help Jon Stanley hear the roar of a motorcycle before he passed away. Stanley was Veteran and an avid biker until he was diagnosed with lung and brain cancer in February.

This past week, Stanley’s health took a turn for the worse.

Stanley’s brother-in-law Michael Smith informed David Thompson, who organized the event in South Bend. For a few hours Thompson posted details of the event on Facebook, more than 100 bikers gathered together to ride past Stanley’s house and grant his last wish.

Stanley was brought down from the house and got to sit in a sidecar while the engines revved. Stanley’s wife, Brenda, told WBND, “that’s the last thing he heard, the revving, the bikes. I know he’s happy.”

Sadly we learned overnight Stanley died just a few hours after this special tribute. We're sending our condolences to his friends and family.


SOURCE: ABC57 NEWS

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Nashville Bike Week: Organizer Arrested In Kentucky

Nashville Bike Week Organizer arrested on warrants covering 4 States

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (June 6, 2017) — Deputies from multiple Tennessee agencies arrested Nashville Bike Week's organizer on Monday on multiple warrants.

According to the Humphreys County Sheriff's Office, deputies arrested Mike Axle in Bowling Green, Ky., at the Country Hearth Hotel just down the street from the National Corvette Museum.

RELATED | Tennessee Motorcycles and Music Revival 

The Warren County Sheriff's Office said it received a tip that Michael Lewis Axle, also known as Michael Lewis Leffingwell and Christopher Ashley, was at the hotel.

Michael Lewis Leffingwell AKA Michael Lewis Axel handcuffed and searched

He was arrested with active warrants in Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and Missouri with charges including probation violation, failure to appear and larceny. The WCSO said other charges may be forthcoming.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) said Axle is also known by the name Michael Leffingwell. That name has an existing perjury charge in Sumner County and a felony theft conviction in Nashville for a business called 'Got Concrete.'

The BBB put Nashville Bike Week on its misleading advertising list and claims the event responded to questions about complaints with expletives.

Nashville Bike Week has faced a series of setbacks since the event's announcement in 2015. The event is set to take place this fall from September 14-24.

In March, its former venue, Loretta Lynn's Ranch, took NBW off its calendar. The ranch said NBW “failed to meet the financial terms of the agreement.”

Shortly after, the Tennessee Department of Health ordered Axle to stop selling tickets to the event. Axle told Fox 17 in a previous interview that his attorney advised him that he hadn't sold enough tickets to be ordered to stop.

Last week, the group announced it signed a contract to host the event at Opryland in Davidson County. Within two days, NBW said Opryland will no longer be hosting the event.


Tennessee Motorcycles and Music Revival

Tennessee Motorcycles and Music Revival



The Tennessee Motorcycles and Music Revival is a 4-Day event held at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch, one of Tennessee’s most popular tourist attractions. The Motorcycles and Music Revival will showcase the area’s depth and devotion to Music, Motorcycles, Food, Art, Entertainment, and Southern Hospitality.

This year, to comply with permits and to ensure a great experience, the Revival will host 4,500 on-site campers on 400 acres of manicured countryside that adjoins the meandering Hurricane Creek. Additional day tickets will available as well.

The Tennessee Motorcycle and Music Revival is a 4 day event

The Tennessee Motorcycle & Music Revival is hosted by the Loretta Lynn Family with a team of seasoned professionals who have targeted expertise in the motorcycle, music and service industries. Consider The Revival a “Big Tent” where Riders, Artists, Musicians and Fans from all genres and walks of life are welcome.

Friday, June 2, 2017

RECALL: Harley recalls 46,000 bikes for oil leak

Harley recalls 46,000 bikes for leaky oil linked to two crashes

Detroit, MI — Harley-Davidson will recall approximately 46,000 motorcycles in the U.S., citing a potential oil leak that has been linked to two crashes.

The recall includes certain 2017 Electra Glide, Road Glide, Road King and Street Glide bikes. The affected motorcycles were built between July 2, 2016 and May 9, 2017.

The bike maker said an oil line may come loose, causing oil to leak onto the rear tire’s path. There have been nine reports of displaced oil lines. Harley is aware of two crashes and one minor injury due to the issue.

Dealers will repair a clamp on the engine oil cooler line at no extra cost to owners.

SOURCE: Fox Business


Friday, May 26, 2017

Dave Amchir, Director of "Toys in the Sun Run" dies

David “Dave” Amchir, who oversaw the yearly charity event of bikers riding down South Florida highways with toys strapped on their motorcycles, died Wednesday morning, his friends said.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida (May 24, 2017) — Dave Amchir, who oversaw the yearly charity event of bikers riding down South Florida highways with toys strapped on their motorcycles, died Wednesday morning, his friends said.

Amchir, of Tamarac, had a heart attack. He was 54.

Amchir, whose nickname was “Tattoo Dave,” took over the event in 2006 after his father, the Toys in the Sun Run founder, died from leukemia.

Bob Amchir, the founder of the toy run, in 2001 Photo - Tim Ribar

The fundraising event is billed by organizers as the world's largest motorcycle parade as bikers zip down interstates 95 and 595, which are closed by police. The bikers wind up at a festival of music and food where riders turn in their toy or cash.

Kevin Janser, senior vice president and chief development officer at Memorial Healthcare System, said the money donations contributed to the construction of a new hospital in Hollywood.

 Jacqueline and Alex Villalobos are part of "Los Chuchos" a Colombian Biker Group.
Photo - Anastasia Walsh Infanzon

“He certainly made a lot of difference to us and a lot of children,” he said. “We have kids where that stuffed toy is the only toy they get at Christmas.”

A decade into the charity event, in 1999, the bulk of the toys and cash were directed to the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation, the nonprofit arm of its namesake hospital, for children in need. Since then, the bikers are credited with raising about $4 million in cash to benefit the hospital and the “number of toys is uncountable,” said foundation spokesman Stu Opperman. “Literally there are 1,000 kids every single year who get toys through their effort.”

And “not just at Christmas,” but at holiday parties and other events, he said. Janser said there are so many toys donated, that the hospital often saves them to give out year-round.

Twin sisters, Victoria (L) and Caroline Schmist, from Boco Raton wait for the start of the Toy Run in 2015 Photo- Joe Cavaretta

He described Amchir as a man with a “muscular frame, full of tattoos. He was a wonderful man. He loved Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. He made it known so all the riders, the performers, the sponsors knew why they were involved — they were doing it for the children.”

The annual toy run attracts between 60,000 to 70,000 people each year, both riders and their passengers, Opperman said. It typically starts in north Broward and ends in various locations, usually the south part of the county.

Riders walk through a sea of bikes at the toy run at Markham Park in 2006 Photo-Omar Vega

Dave Amchir’s father was Bob Amchir, a former New York City police officer who ran a business making motorcycle helmets. In 1988, he created the toy run with just 700 participants. His efforts earned him the USA Presidential Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2006, the Humanitarian Award from the town of Davie in 2004 and the Spirit of Healing Award from Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital.

“Motorcycle riders have a bad rap of being bad guys,” Bob Amchir told the Sun Sentinel in 2000. “We strive to help everyone where we can, if it's in our power.”

When his father died, Dave Amchir took over the event with the same enthusiasm.

Dave Amchir was also the national president of the Wings of Gold Motorcycle Club, also a role he inherited after his dad.

Dave Amchir, (M) and his wife, comfort each other during a tribute in 2006 to his father who founded the toy run Photo-Omar Vega

“We’re going to continue to do our charity,” said friend Joey Quinter, the vice president of the local chapter of the Wings of Gold Motorcycle Club, who said the Toys in the Sun Run would continue as planned Dec. 10.

“He always stood for the right thing, never the wrong thing, that you were never taller when you’d bend down to help a child,” he said. “When they made him, they broke the mold.”

Funeral arrangements are pending.

SOURCE: Sun Sentinel


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Harley-Davidson Building Factory in Thailand

Even Harley-Davidson Can’t Resist the Tug of Overseas Factories

Milwaukee, Wisconsin (May 23, 2017) – Harley-Davidson is building a new plant in Thailand, reflecting the industry’s push for global sales growth.

Harley-Davidson Inc.’s plans to operate a motorcycle assembly plant in Thailand are drawing strong criticism from labor unions, although Harley says the plant won’t result in any U.S. job losses.

The Thailand plant is scheduled to open in late 2018, Harley said Tuesday, and it will assemble bikes from components produced at the company’s U.S. facilities.

Milwaukee-based Harley has similar operations in India and Brazil, where complete motorcycles are assembled from kits.

New motorcycles arriving from the United States at a Harley-Davidson showroom in Bangkok. Seeking to avoid high tariffs, the company is planning to build a factory in Thailand.
Luke Duggleby for The New York Times

In India, where big touring motorcycles and cars are saddled with a 100% import tariff, Harley's sales have grown by a brisk 30% in the past two years.

That's largely because the company has been able to get around the tariff by assembling bikes there, something it's done in that country since 2011.
The Thailand tariff on motorcycles assembled in the United States is about 60%, according to Harley.

“By opening this plant, we expect our regional (Asian) operations to help reduce those costs,” said Harley spokeswoman Katie Whitmore.

“There is no intent to reduce Harley-Davidson U.S. manufacturing due to this expansion,” Whitmore said.

“We anticipate an increase in the number of additional U.S.-manufactured components that will be shipped to the Thailand facility,” she added.

Asia is one of Harley’s fastest-growing markets.

But the Thailand plant, and others like it, worries the United Steelworkers.

“Harley-Davidson has been the crown jewel of American manufacturing. Management’s decision to offshore production is a slap in the face to the American worker and to hundreds of thousands of Harley riders across the country,” Steelworkers President Leo Gerard said in a statement.

Harley-Davidson has said it intends to grow its international business 50% by 2027, and that international sales are pivotal to the company’s future.

Harleys shipped from the United States to Bangkok. The Thailand plant will assemble motorcycles for Asia that were previously imported from India or the United States.
Luke Duggleby for The New York Times

But the Steelworkers, which represents employees at the Harley engine operations in Menomonee Falls, says the company should abandon offshoring plans and, instead, expand operations in the U.S.

“Offshoring production is the wrong path to prosperity. It puts in jeopardy the success that has propelled Harley over the years,” Gerard said.

A similar statement came Tuesday from the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which also represents employees in Harley's manufacturing plants.

“Harley-Davidson is going overseas and taking American jobs with it. While other companies think about moving work home, Harley-Davidson is doing the opposite. Harley-Davidson is laying off U.S. workers monthly while continuing to hire temporary workers," said IAM President Robert Martinez Jr.

He added: “What part of ‘Made in America’ does Harley-Davidson not understand?”

In April, Harley-Davidson Inc. said it was cutting 118 jobs at its plant in York, Pa., as the company moves the production of all cruiser motorcycles to Kansas City.

The layoffs, which will begin June 23, affect 110 hourly employees represented by the Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

The remainders are salaried employees and contractors.

Harley said the employees were notified in November 2015 that it planned to consolidate the production of Softail cruiser motorcycles at its Kansas City plant starting with the 2018 model year.

The move will create 118 positions in Kansas City, according to the company, and it doesn’t affect employment in Milwaukee.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Sturgis Buffalo Chip®’s 2017 Biker Belles®

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Michael Parks Dies: Then Came Bronson Actor Was 77

Then Came Bronson reflects and drew heavily on the background of Parks' own life story.

Michael Parks, the brooding actor who broke through as television’s first easy rider on Then Came Bronson and resurrected by David Lynch, Quentin Tarantino, and Robert Rodriguez as an icon of Hollywood cool, died on May 9th. He was just 77.

Born April 24, 1940, in Corona, California, Parks held various jobs – fruit-picking, ditch-digging, truck driving and fighting forest fires and married, briefly, at 16 before beginning the acting career that would span six decades. He started with a bit part on the ABC rural sitcom The Real McCoys and was the Biblical (and scantily clad) Adam in John Huston’s 1966 The Bible, and appeared here and there on episodic TV before riding to fame on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle as the title character of NBC’s Then Came Bronson.


Though the show last only one season, Parks made a lasting impression as Jim Bronson, a loner who dropped out of society and onto the “long lonesome highway” – the title of the theme song that Parks himself sang – following the suicide of his best friend (played by Martin Sheen).

The episodic structure allowed Bronson to drop in (and out) of various American lives coast to coast, with new guest stars joining each week’s adventure. Kurt Russell, Penny Marshall, Jack Klugman and folk singer Buffy Sante-Marie were just a few.

Parks’ rendition of “Long Lonesome Highway” was released as a single, and reached Billboard’s Top 20.  A scruffy looking Parks even sang on The Ed Sullivan Show to promote his “Long Lonesome Highway” album.


Parks worked steadily if without major note through the ’70s and ’80s, appearing on The Colbys, The Equalizer and The Return of Josey Wales, also directing the latter, a 1986 feature film sequel to the Clint Eastwood film The Outlaw Josey Wales.

The actor’s career was revitalized with Twin Peaks, the David Lynch sensation in which Parks played the murderous French-Canadian drug-runner Jean Renault. After that, he appeared mostly in feature films, a favorite of the hot ’90s directors who no doubt recalled Bronson.


Over the next decades Parker would appear in Tarantino’s From Dusk till Dawn and Kill Bill films, Django Unchained, the Tarantino/Rodriguez Grindhouse, Kevin Smith’s Red State and Tusk, and Andrew Dominik’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, among others.


His brief teenage marriage to Louise Johnson produced a daughter, and in 1997 Parks married Oriana Parks who, along with son James, survives him. Funeral services are pending.


Saturday, March 11, 2017

End of an era? Easyriders Magazine on auction Block

Domains, Trademarks, Subscription Files and even their Facebook Page is listed.

Agoura Hills, CA (March 9, 2017) – Pasisano Publications owner and publisher Joe Teresi, 76, announced last week that he’s retiring after 46 years at the helm of the company that was founded in 1970.

All assets of the company including 'In The Wind Magazine', V-Twin Magazine' Tattoo Magazine and the iconic 'Easyrider Magazine' are up for auction.

Easyriders Magazine is included in the Auction

The auction package also includes: V-Twin Expo, Easyriders Events and 46 years of compiled and copyrighted photos, art, fiction and editorial articles.  

Books out of Print
Over the years, Paisano has published a variety of books sold on the newsstand and through retail channels. All of these are available to be reprinted.

Pictured: Tech Tips & Tricks Vol. 1 & 2, and the Cookin' Carvin' & Scrafin Cookbook

Not included in auction but available for sale:

Other assists not included in the auction package but available for sale include the Easyriders Streamliner, over 400 pieces of original artwork by the legendary Biker Artist David Mann.

David Mann Original Artwork 
David Mann was the Norman Rockwell of the biker world. His lifestyle paintings graced the pages of Easyriders and other Paisano titles as centerfolds, advertisements and accompaniment to fiction pieces. Paisano owns a collection of approximately 400 pieces of this original artwork.

Pictured: David Mann Art Work - Legendary Biker Artist

Pictured: The Easyriders Streamliner - A twin Harley-Davidson powered machine




Seller’s Reserve: $3,000,000
Sale Estimate: $5,000,000 to $7,000,000
Terms of Sale: Cash by wire transfer
For further information, please contact: bwood@paisanopub.com

Source and list of assets: Paisano Publications Auction

Monday, January 9, 2017

Polaris Ends Victory Motorcycles Production

Victory Motorcycles Production Ends 

MEDINA, MN (January 9, 2017) Polaris Industries Inc. today announced it will immediately begin winding down its Victory Motorcycles brand and related operations. Polaris will assist dealers in liquidating existing inventories while continuing to supply parts for a period of 10 years, along with providing service and warranty coverage to Victory dealers and owners. Today’s announcement does not affect any other Polaris business units.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision for me, my team and the Polaris Board of Directors,” said Polaris Industries Chairman and CEO Scott Wine. “Over the past 18 years, we have invested not only resources, but our hearts and souls, into forging the Victory Motorcycles brand, and we are exceptionally proud of what our team has accomplished. Since inception, our teams have designed and produced nearly 60 Victory models that have been honored with 25 of the industry’s top awards. The experience, knowledge, infrastructure and capability we’ve built in those 18 years gave us the confidence to acquire and develop the Indian Motorcycle brand, so I would like to express my gratitude to everyone associated with Victory Motorcycles and celebrate your many contributions.”


A Victory Motorcycle

Several factors influenced today’s announcement. Victory has struggled to establish the market share needed to succeed and be profitable. The competitive pressures of a challenging motorcycle market have increased the headwinds for the brand. Given the significant additional investments required for Victory to launch new global platforms that meet changing consumer preferences, and considering the strong performance and growth potential of Indian Motorcycle, the decision to more narrowly focus Polaris’ energy and investments became quite clear.

“This decision will improve the profitability of Polaris and our global motorcycle business, and will materially improve our competitive stance in the industry,” said Scott Wine. “Our focus is on profitable growth, and in an environment of finite resources, this move allows us to optimize and align our resources behind both our premium, high performing Indian Motorcycle brand and our innovative Slingshot brand, enhancing our focus on accelerating the success of those brands. Ultimately this decision will propel the industry-leading product innovation that is core to our strategy while fostering long-term growth and increased shareholder value.”
Polaris will reduce the appropriate operating cost based on this decision, while continuing to support the future growth of the ongoing motorcycle business. Polaris remains committed to maintaining its presence in the Spirit Lake, Iowa community with Indian Motorcycle production and in the Huntsville, Alabama community with its Slingshot production.

Any one-time costs associated with supporting Victory dealers in selling their remaining inventory, the disposal of factory inventory, tooling, and other physical assets, and the cancellation of various supplier arrangements will be recorded in the 2017 income statement in respective sales, gross profit and operation expense. These costs will be excluded from Polaris’ provided 2017 sales and earnings guidance on a non-GAAP basis.

Polaris will release its fourth quarter and full-year 2016 financial results and provide 2017 guidance on Tuesday, January 24, 2017. A webcast and conference call will be held at 9:00 a.m. Central Time on January 24, 2017 to discuss the results. 

A slide presentation and link to the webcast will be posted on the Polaris Investor Relations website at ir.polaris.com. To listen to the conference call by phone, dial 877-706-7543 in the U.S. and Canada, or 478-219-0273 internationally. The Conference ID is #45015597.

Cats Eye Dash