Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rossi Wins MotoGP Championship (Yup, Again)!

Valentino Rossi  clinched his 9th world championship (7th at the premier level) last Sunday at the Malaysian GP at Sepang, overcoming an awful first corner and clawing his way in the wet to an eventual 3rd behind Casey Stoner (who cleared-off early) and Dani Pedrosa.  Teammate Jorge Lorenzo, the only racer with a real chance to steal the championship from Rossi, came home in 4th.  With one race to go, Rossi has an insurmountable lead. After taking the checkers, Rossi treated his fans to another of his patented victory celebrations, this one complete with a live helmeted chicken, a large egg with "9" printed on it, and a victory lap in a t-shirt bearing the Italian phrase akin to "Old Hens Make Good Soup" or "Old Hens Lay Good Eggs"....or something like that.  I believe it's a comment on the "old man" Rossi (at 30!) besting his young competitors; it probably makes sense if you're Italian.

Vale (46) mired around 9th place early on.


That's championship #9 in any language.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fed Launches Motorcycle Accident Study

28 years after the Hurt Report, American motorcyclists are finally getting another (allegedly) major study of motorcycle accident and injury causation. Before we get too enthused, the funding is a meager $2.8M from the Fed coupled with private and state money of less than $700K to date. Worse, the Federal Highway Administration's October 5th press release states that the study will collect data on "hundreds" of motorcycle accidents. Hundreds?! By DOT's own numbers, in 1998 alone there were about 5,300 fatalities and 96,000 non-fatal injuries, so its reasonable to assume there were over 100,000 reported crashes. for that year. I believe our common experience informs us that there had to have been at least twice that number of crashes in which the rider either wasn't injured or had minor injuries for which professional treatment wasn't sought, or which weren't reported to public agencies for various reasons. I only vaguely understand the concept of statistical sampling, but is it scientifically valid to extrapolate the data of hundreds of crashes in this instance? (If you're a statistician, please comment.) My fear is that (by no fault of the researchers) we're going to see an under-funded study of a statistically too-small sample, long on correlation and short on causation, which history tells us will then be misinterpreted and/or misused by lawmakers and insurers. I hope I'm proven wrong.

(Click on the press release below to enlarge).

Friday, October 16, 2009

H-D Pulls Plug on Buell; to Ditch MV Augusta

Harley-Davidson announced yesterday that it's killing Erik Buell's dream and will and look to sell MV Augusta. Neither move was unexpected by industry-watchers. That MV relationship never made any sense to me anyway.  Read HD's 3Q report here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

DJD a Geek Heartthrob?

Couldn't be, right?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

New Motorcycle Adventure Riding Magazine

The maiden issue of what may be the first magazine dedicated to motorcycle adventure-touring, Adventure Rider, is only 36 pages, but they're chock full of great content and photographs.  Publisher James Pratt is hoping to offer subscriptions soon and to publish 6 issues in 2010.  You can preview and/or order the Fall 2009 issue here.