Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Easyriders Magazine revamped after 50 years

Los Angeles, California, USA (January 28, 2020) BSB — The legendary Easyriders Magazine, named with a nod to the eponymous cult film classic, celebrates its 50th Anniversary with a new relaunch under the ownership of fashion leader Pepper Foster, who plans to advance the iconic label in the global market.

The debut issue features Norman Reedus on the cover photographed by Brian Bowen Smith, supermodel Erin Wasson and the band Wild Belle.

Easyriders was established in 1970 as a platform for motorcycle enthusiasts to immerse in the rugged, on-the-road lifestyle championed by the counterculture movement and legends such as Steve McQueen, Peter Fonda, and Dennis Hopper.

Over five decades, the brand has become synonymous with a free-spirited lifestyle. Under new leadership, Easyriders will expand the vision of what it means to be a motorcycle enthusiast in the 21st Century.

“I’m so proud and excited to introduce the iconic Easyriders brand to a new generation – and to expand this powerhouse label to partners worldwide through licensing our brand with likeminded partners,” said Pepper Foster, co-founder of the pioneering fashion label, Chip and Pepper. “We see endless opportunities to expand the Easyriders branded products to the apparel, lifestyle and home markets.”

In addition to the brand’s new iteration, Easyriders has revised and re imagined its celebrated print product as of January 2020. The niche monthly will transform to a quarterly publication expanding coverage to include travel, art, design, style, and entertainment, alongside its mainstay features on the movers and shakers of the moto world. Easyriders will add to its event and major-label product collaborations.

Easyriders magazine and its new website launched January 2020.

Visit: Easyriders.com or Instagram.com/easyriders

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Indian motorcycle wrecking crew returns

Minneapolis, MN, USA (January 22, 2020) BSB — Indian Motorcycle Racing confirmed its return for the 2020 American Flat Track (AFT) season in the series’ newly developed Super Twins class. For the second consecutive season, the Indian Wrecking Crew will feature 2019 Grand National Champion Briar Bauman, brother Bronson Bauman, who finished third overall in 2019, and six-time Grand National Champion Jared “the Jammer” Mees, who finished second overall in 2019.

In addition, AFT legend and fan favorite Brad “the Bullet” Baker returns as Technical Advisor and Rider Coach for the Bauman brothers. After capturing the top three spots in the 2019 standings, Indian Motorcycle Racing enters the 2020 series with its sights set on capturing its fourth consecutive Grand National Championship and Manufacturer’s Championship.

“Powered by the momentum of Briar winning his first Grand National Championship, the emergence of Bronson as a legitimate series contender, and Jared’s unparalleled intensity and drive to reclaim the number one plate, we couldn’t be more excited by our prospects for the 2020 series,” said Gary Gray, Vice President – Racing, Technology and Service for Indian Motorcycle. “For the fourth straight season, we will have a massive target on our backs with the entire paddock looking to take us down. But we know our three riders and their crews are more than up to the challenge and determined to continue our championship streak for a fourth consecutive season.”

The Bauman brothers will again be backed by the operational and technical expertise of Paul Langley and S&S. The ongoing support from S&S since Indian’s return to the series in 2017 has been instrumental to the capabilities of the Indian FTR750, now a fixture throughout the AFT paddock, and the performance of Indian Motorcycle Racing and its riders.

In addition, Dave Zanotti will continue as Crew Chief, with Dustin Say and Clayton Gatewood handling mechanic duties for Briar and Bronson Bauman respectively. Once again, Jared Mees’ operation will be supported by long-time Crew Chief Kenny Tolbert, and mechanics Bubba Bentley and Jimmy Wood. S&S’s Dean Young continues his ongoing role as the Wrecking Crew Team Manager.

2019 saw the Bauman brothers stake their claim as the sport’s most dynamic duo, under the guidance of Crew Chief Dave Zanotti. Briar Bauman asserted his dominance immediately, winning the Daytona TT season opener, and never relenting the rest of the season on the way to his first Grand National Championship. The elder Bauman was a picture of consistency, capturing five victories and earning podium finishes in 17 of 20 events.

Meanwhile, 2019 was a season of extremes for Mees, capturing a series-best eight victories, only to come up a mere seven points short of his seventh Grand National Championship. For the younger Bauman, 2019 was a year to establish himself as one of the series’ most intense and exciting competitors, capturing five podiums, including his first career AFT Twins victory at Laconia.

In 2020, in addition to S&S, Indian will benefit significantly from the support of its valued sponsors, including presenting sponsor Progressive Motorcycle Insurance, Parts Unlimited, Drag Specialities, Indian Motorcycle Oil, Alpinestars, J&P Cycles and Bell Helmets.

“Every team in the paddock understands how invaluable the support of sponsors are to the success of a team, and for us, it’s no exception,” said Gray. “You can’t underestimate the advantage it brings to have the resources and support of companies like these that are so heavily invested in our success, and the success and growth of our sport overall.”

For 2020, AFT is introducing new regulations to continue its ongoing effort to create more competitive balance, and once again, these regulations challenge Indian and the FTR750 specifically. The case in point is AFT’s mandate that the Indian FTR750 will have a limit on flywheel mass which can affect power delivery and stability.

“We had a lot of constructive conversations with AFT and certainly understand the motivations behind their decision to regulate our bike in this manner, people want to see more than one brand on the podium, but it can be frustrating to be punished for winning,” said Gray. “Regardless of this, or any other potential obstacle, we come to win, and we have full confidence that in 2020, we will once again do just that.”


Indian Motorcycle is America’s First Motorcycle Company®. Founded in 1901, Indian Motorcycle has won the hearts of motorcyclists around the world and earned distinction as one of America’s most legendary and iconic brands through unrivaled racing dominance, engineering prowess and countless innovations and industry firsts. Today that heritage and passion is reignited under new brand stewardship. To learn more, please visit www.indianmotorcycle.com.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

2020 Laughlin River Run questionable

Laughlin, Nevada, USA (January 16, 2020) BSB — After 37 years, the future of the Laughlin River Run is a mystery. What is less of a mystery is that the event typically held in late April isn’t on anyone’s calendar this year.

The longstanding promoter of the event, Dal-Con Promotions, of California and Nevada, have no listings for the 2020 run on their websites which are dark, and no one at Dal-Con is answering the phones when called directly.

Emails left on the Dal-Con website have so far gone unanswered and the Laughlin Chamber of Commerce has unlisted the event from its calendar due to lack of timely communication — that is, they haven’t heard from Dal-Con or anyone else in the time frame necessary to bring the event together.

An official communique from the Laughlin Chamber of Commerce to the Laughlin Nevada Times, the chamber said, “The promoter of 37 years has not been in communication with the Laughlin Chamber of Commerce, Laughlin Tourism Commission or Laughlin resort properties.

Additionally, the Laughlin River Run and Dal-Con Promotions websites have gone dark. Without promoter communication, the Laughlin River Run has been removed from our event calendar.”

The Edgewater and Colorado Belle resort casinos posted dates and even room specials for this year’s 2020 River Run during last years outing, suggesting the dates for the 2020 event would be April 23-25.

Multiple calls to Dal-Con and a major sponsor of the event — Law Tigers, a motorcycle specific law firm — have yielded no solid answers.

When the possibility of no run in 2020 was posted to a Laughlin social media site, several people responded passed along information that they had heard the event had been canceled. Some blamed the resort properties, others blamed the promoter.

Several people who contacted the Laughlin Nevada Times and the Mohave Valley Daily News to inquire about the event’s immediate future said they weren’t surprised that it unceremoniously had come to an end.

“It’s been going downhill for some time,” said one caller from California, who added he had added at least 10 previous River Runs. “It used to be a big deal.”

There has been consistent decline in numbers for the event that routinely drew more than 20,000 motorcycle enthusiasts with an estimated 70,000 participating in it in 2005, earning it the title of the largest motorcycle gathering west of the Rocky Mountains.

The decline has been attributed to a number of factors: the novelty has worn off; competing events at the same time frame; economic issues — especially during the Great Recession of the late 2000's to early 2010's; police presence and other policies that some said they felt stifled the event; and an absence of new attractions.

The River Run historically has been a big economic boon for not only Laughlin and the resort properties but also to Bullhead City, Oatman, Kingman, Lake Havasu City and surrounding communities. It also has been used as a springboard for several charity poker runs and for other events geared toward motorcycle enthusiasts and their families.

As for the long-term future of the event, no one seems to know — or at least isn’t saying — if the River Run can be resurrected or reimaged.

For now it’s wait and see

Given the longevity of the event, it is entirely possible that bikers may show up anyway simply based on habit. “It’s April so it’s time to go to Laughlin.”

For the moment, however, it seems that the original, organized, and titled Laughlin River Run will not be held this year.

UPDATE 1/17/2020

After this story broke, they updated their website, it may be a go.

 Screenshot of website as of 1/17/2020

SOURCE: MoHaveDailyNews

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Member of C.C. Riders: ‘These guys are my brothers'

Madison, Wisconsin, USA (January 15, 2020) BSB — Stephen Lanz Lavasseur says not a lot has changed since the Capital City Riders were founded in Madison in 1968.

Lavasseur, a 69-year-old retired truck driver who goes by the nickname Lava, is one of just five remaining active original members of the C.C. Riders motorcycle club. He describes the Riders not as an “outlaw club” but rather a group united around a common interest.

“It was just a bunch of guys who wanted to go riding,” Lavasseur said of the club’s beginnings on Madison’s east side in the late 1960's. “We just have a good time. It really hasn’t changed too much.”

Mouse, another one of the last original members, plays pool in the clubhouse. (Lawrence Andrea)

Despite the aging group of original members — they range anywhere from 68 to 75-years-old — there are about 60 current members, some in their mid-20's and early 30's. The club has had more than 250 members in its 52 years in Madison, according to Lavasseur, who added that younger guys tend to “come and go.”

Most of the members ride Harley Davidson motorcycles, though there are guys with BMW and Yamaha bikes. Lavasseur still rides the same 1967 Harley that he bought in 1969. A few of the other Riders own a motorcycle shop — “They keep my bike on the road,” he said.

Lavasseur described the club members as working class people, adding that “most of our guys are your nine-to-five laborers.” There are truck drivers, mechanics and small business owners.

Stephen Lanz Lavasseur, known in the club as Lava, is one of just five remaining active original members of the C.C. Riders. (Lawrence Andrea)

New Riders tend to either be family of past members or people the club meets at events or on rides. Only men can join the club, though many of the guys have wives and girlfriends who hang around.

One of the newer members — he goes by Dutch — joined the Riders about six years ago, shortly after coming to Madison from Arizona. After making an offhand comment about a Harley at a motorcycle show to someone who turned out to be a Rider, he was invited to the clubhouse to meet the members. He was a prospect — someone intending to join the club — for six months before he was accepted as a full member. He’s been a Rider ever since.

“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” Dutch said. “These guys are my brothers.”

The beginnings

The C.C. Riders started as a motorcycle shop on the corner of Atwood Avenue and Division Street on the east side. Identical twins Robert and Richard Smith owned Smith Cycle Service, which served as a “hub” for the early Riders.

“We took a lot of young men off the street and let them work for us,” said Richard Smith, now 77 and living in northern Wisconsin. “They would start working at the bottom of the totem pole and maybe end up getting a bike. It was glamorous for a young man.”

The club officially formed in 1968 and eventually moved to the corner of South Paterson and Williamson streets, behind what is now The Wisco bar. The Riders organized weekly Sunday rides and tended to hang out at the Anchor Inn on Atwood Avenue, which has since closed. Otherwise, they called Williamson Street their home.

“(They were) pretty much at the clubhouse,” said Sharon Kilfoy, director of the Williamson Street Art Center and neighborhood historian who has lived in the area since 1970.

Kilfoy said it was not uncommon to see motorcycles lining South Paterson Street. But she stressed that it was not an “over-the-top” or obnoxious presence.

In fact, she said the neighborhood felt protected by the Riders. Kilfoy used to work at the old emergency child care Respite Center on Williamson Street near the Riders’ clubhouse. She said the workers knew they could go to the Riders if they ever needed help.

“I certainly didn’t feel as if their presence in any way made me fearful,” Kilfoy said. “They were seen more as community allies, community advocates, community protectors. It seems like that was the prevailing sentiment.”

Former alderwoman and longtime Williamson Street resident Judy Olson agreed. Olson said the Riders’ presence made the Marquette Neighborhood “perhaps a little more secure.”

She noted a time in which a driver side-swiped a parked car and continued to drive. A Rider attempted to chase the driver down and then informed the owner of the damaged car of what happened. Another time, Olson lost her cat. A Rider helped her find it.

“They looked out for the people they considered to be their neighbors,” she said.

In the community

Richard Smith was known as an eccentric character and a community activist in the neighborhood. According to Smith’s friends, it was just as likely you’d find him wearing a ballet tutu at the Willy Street Fair — an event he helped start — as his Rider colors.

Kilfoy described him as a good neighbor with a “real commanding presence.” At one point in the late 1970's, Taco John’s started to put up a restaurant on the corner of Williamson and South Brearly streets. After consistent vandalism, the chain left the area. Smith bought the land, planted trees and donated it to the neighborhood. It is now the Willy Street Park.

The Riders clubhouse has a 40-foot bar made from a piece of an old bowling alley on East Washington Avenue where members used to bowl.(Lawrence Andrea)

Smith is perhaps most well-known for his organization of Madison’s helmet law protests in the late 1970's. Smith and the Riders led bikers from across the state in a number of protests around the Capitol. Some residents estimated there were at one point 60,000 motorcyclists who participated. A Madison Press Connection article from 1977 claimed one such demonstration from the same year included 35,000 motorcycles.

“We organized a hell of a lot of people,” Smith said of the protests. He explained that whenever legislation he was interested in had a public hearing, he and the Riders would show up in force. “I knew how to change laws.”

Wisconsin eventually repealed its universal helmet law for motorcyclists in 1978. Now, only people under the age of 18 and those with an instructional permit are required to wear helmets.

But not everything for the C.C. Riders was community activism and searching for lost cats.

In the early 1980s, members of the Washington-based Ghost Riders motorcycle club came to town. The Ghost Riders, an outlaw club and one of the few “one-percenter” clubs who live outside the law and tend to be associated with drug dealing and gun running, sought to establish a chapter in Madison.

The majority of members ride Harley Davidson motorcycles. Some of the club members repair and restore bikes in a garage near their clubhouse. (Lawrence Andrea)

In 1985, the national president of the Ghost Riders and two other club members were convicted and sentenced to life in prison for a 1983 incident in which they killed a woman when they burned down a tavern just five miles southeast of Madison.

Williamson Street community members attributed the Ghost Riders’ disappearance from the area both to the fire and the efforts of the C.C. Riders.

Lavasseur acknowledged the Ghost Riders’ presence at the time but declined to comment on their interactions with the club.

“They thought they’d start up a club around here, and it didn’t work too well,” Lavasseur said. “We just stood up for ourselves. When you stand up for yourself, you don’t usually have a problem.”

There was another incident in the mid-1990s involving the motorcycle club the Hells Angels. A disgruntled former C.C. Rider-turned-Hells Angel crashed a Rider clubhouse party and pulled out a knife. A Rider took the knife away, stabbing the Hells Angel in the process.

“(The Angel) thought he was a tough guy, and he went against a bigger tough guy who showed him what was right,” Lavasseur recalled. “If you pull out a knife, you better be able to do something about it.”

The riders and the law

Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney said there has been an increased presence of one-percenter motorcycle clubs in the area over the last 20 years. He noted multiple times in which clubs like The Outlaws and the Hells Angels tried to set up clubhouses in Dane County and force the C.C. Riders out.

“I’d like nothing better than for everybody to get along, but that is not historically what occurs when these clubs move in,” Mahoney said. “We’re mindful of their presence and watch for them to see what they’re up to.”

Mahoney said much of this awareness comes from communication with the Riders. He stressed that their interactions are not like that of an informant but rather an effort to keep dangerous groups out of the area.

“(The Riders) are in the motorcycle culture more than I am, and (I need) to be aware of what’s occurring,” Mahoney said. “It’s wondering what they are hearing and seeing in relation to what we are seeing and hearing.”

Mahoney also noted instances in the 1980s when Riders helped police at various festivals or city-wide events. He said there were times when club members either helped deputies break up fights or broke them up themselves so law enforcement didn’t get involved.

“I think they are a benefit to our community,” he said. “They have been seen as the kind of eyes and ears of the communities in which they have had clubhouses.”

Despite the generally amiable relationship, the Riders have had their own run-ins with the law.

Mahoney referenced an unresolved shooting about 20 years ago in which some of the Riders were suspects. He said the incident “caused a strife in some of the relationships” but added that that is normal when an organization is being looked into by law enforcement.

He also mentioned incidences of drug dealing involving Riders. He called these problems anomalies and noted that some of these individuals were kicked out of the club by Rider leadership.

“I’d be very suspect if that was ever condoned by the organization,” Mahoney said of drug dealing. “For the most part, the majority of their members I think are productive community members. I don’t consider them a criminal element whatsoever.”

A transition

After the Smith brothers moved out of town in the late 1970s, a new Rider took over.

Bill “Tiny” Alexander is described by Riders and community members as “larger-than-life.” He was a two-time Rider president, a graduate of Madison Area Technical College’s culinary program and was known for telling it how it was.

“He always had you laughing, and when he walked in the room, he was a presence,” Lavasseur said of Tiny, who was bigger than most other men. “He was it. He was always helping people, always doing things — just a remarkable person.”

Tiny eventually bought The Wisco bar in 1989. After getting married and having his first child in 1990, he started to focus more of his time on family. In the mid-1990s, after a few drunken incidents involving club members, Tiny told the Riders they had to move out of the area.

“(The Riders’) presence here was not enough to support the bar, but their presence was enough to make other people afraid to come in,” said Holly Alexander, Tiny’s wife and the current owner of The Wisco. “There came a point where he felt that he was not going to be successful with them in his backyard.”

Despite Tiny’s separation from the club, the Riders didn’t forget about him or his family when he died of a heart attack in April 2015.

“He wasn’t gone 24 hours and the president at the time was on the phone with me saying: ‘What do you need? What can we do?’” said Alexander, who opened Tiny’s Tap House in the old Rider clubhouse next to The Wisco in April 2019.

Lavasseur called getting pushed out of Williamson Street “probably the best thing to happen to us.” It made the club come together and build a new, larger clubhouse farther out on Madison’s east side in 1996. The members built it entirely on their own.

“We had everyone but a plumber,” Lavasseur said.

The Riders are still based in that clubhouse. It has a 40-foot bar made from a piece of an old bowling alley on East Washington Avenue where members used to bowl, two pool tables and a patio that can fit nearly 200 people.

In 2018, for the club’s 50th anniversary, the Riders paid off the clubhouse and burned the mortgage papers.

Looking forward

Just as the early Riders united around the common theme of riding and drinking, the original members gather to talk and drink at the clubhouse every Thursday. They also have meetings three times a month to discuss future parties and charity work.

The Riders hold about three charity events a year. The club is involved with Make-A-Wish Wisconsin and raises about $5,000 a year to send a child diagnosed with a critical illness on the trip of their choosing. They’ve raised more than $70,000 for Make-A-Wish and have funded more than nine trips. This past August, the group raised money to send a boy to California to learn about vikings.

They also hold a comedy night once a year. Proceeds from the event go to support Second Harvest Foodbank.

As the original Riders get older, they prepare the next generation of Riders to take over by teaching them about the past. “We’re real big on history,” Lavasseur said, noting that the club begins every meeting by reading the names of deceased Riders.

Many of the members have patches on their cuts — what bikers call their leather vests — recognizing deceased Riders. The clubhouse is full of photographs and memorials to past members. Just outside the clubhouse is a chained-off area with the names of deceased Riders etched into brick. Some have their ashes under those bricks.

The Capital City Riders have been in Madison for 52 years. They plan to be here for at least 52 more.

“As the older guys fade away, the new guys will be the ones taking over,” Lavasseur said. “Things do change, but some things stay the same.”

STORY BY: Lawrence Andrea
SOURCE: The Cap Times

Friday, January 10, 2020

Chicago police aim to stop reckless stunt riders

Chicago, Illinois, USA (January 10, 2019) BSB — Responding to growing complaints about packs of reckless motorcycle riders, Chicago police told aldermen they taking a more proactive approach to reining in swarms of bikers who speed down streets and expressways, performing dangerous stunts that put themselves and others at risk.

Stunt rider motorcycle groups have become more popular in recent years, Chicago Police Cmdr. Sean Loughran, who heads the department’s Special Functions Division, said at a City Council Public Safety Committee meeting on the problem.

Office of Emergency Management and Communications executive director Rich Guidice said there were approximately 1,100 calls to 911 last year complaining about dangerous motorcycle groups.

Rather than trying to stop the groups after they’ve started speeding through the city, police said they plan to keep track of the groups on social media, in an effort to stop large stunt rides before they start.

CBS 2’s Jim Williams has previously reported the stunt biker groups, which frequently post social media videos of themselves popping wheelies, speeding down sidewalks, and blowing through red lights and stop signs, sometimes coming within inches of hitting pedestrians crossing the street.

Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), who called on the Chicago Police Department and OEMC to detail their plans to address the dangerous motorcycle groups, said they often ride in groups of 200 to 300 people, speeding down expressways, Lake Shore Drive, and even side streets, ignoring all traffic laws, and putting other motorists and pedestrians in danger.

Loughran said part of the challenge in cracking down on the groups is that chasing them isn’t worth the risk, because it would only put more lives in danger, and actually give the stunt riders what they want – a chance at making a viral video of a police chase.

“These individuals, the worst bad actors, they’re not stopping. In fact, they want you to chase them,” he said. “Many of the riders actively intend to goad law enforcement, on camera, into chases during these drag races, which only heightens the potential danger.”

Police said they plan to focus on using social media to find out when the groups are planning a ride event, and either putting a stop to dangerous motorcycle rallies before they start, or using helicopters to track the groups until they stop, and then handing out tickets, or making arrests if necessary.

“The key to this is when they’re at the rallying points, and swarming with a task force approach,” Loughran said. “We want to flood that area, and get them off their bikes while they’re revving their bikes.”

Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd), who said the stunt riders are a frequent problem on Lower Wacker Drive, said police should also rely on a new ordinance the City Council passed last summer, increasing the penalties for street racing. Racing drivers now face fines of $5,000 to $10,000 for each offense. “Lean on that section of the code. Write those violations, because I’ll tell you, a $5,000 ticket, that gets some attention real quick,” Reilly said.

Loughran said police also can sometimes seize a rider’s motorcycle, if they’re arrested for committing a misdemeanor or felony, or if they don’t have the proper license or registration. “A lot of the motorcycle riders will intentionally never have license plates affixed on their vehicle, or will bend the plates up, or will remove them when going on these rides,” he said.

Police said riders also often outfit their bikes with illegally modified exhaust systems, or simply remove their mufflers, to create more noise. Those violations carry a $500 fine per day.

Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) introduced an ordinance last year that would have required the city to install six noise monitors along Lake Shore Drive to help document the extent of the problem of noisy motorcycle groups.

However, Hopkins said the city already is authorized to install those monitors under a 2017 state law, and he said the mayor’s office has agreed to install them along Lake Shore Drive this year.

The alderman said the data from the noise monitors not only will help police investigating the motorcycle groups, but provide the City Council with data to determine if any laws need to be changed to improve enforcement.

SOURCE: Chicago Sun Times