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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

News Briefs

In what is being described as the biggest two-year jump in 50 years, reports suggest that the United States has seen a dramatic increase in car and motorcycle road fatalities in 2015/16 after years of gradually declining fatalities. Within this figure, it is believed that motorcycle fatalities are, at worst, level.

Bringing an end to the tradition that founded the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the event’s Competition Committee have announced 2017 as the last year in which motorcycles designed to race on dirt surfaces from competing on the 156 turn 12.42 mile now paved course at “America’s Mountain” near Colorado Springs. The course starts at 9,390 feet and finishes at the 14,115 foot summit of Pikes Peak and has been fully paved (for environmental reasons) since 2011. This will be the 95th running of what is the second oldest motorsports event in the USA.

Polaris CEO Scott Wine has seen his annual compensation (salary, stock awards, option award etc) fluctuate in-line with the company’s financial fortunes, share price and stock market capitalization. From a healthy $8.8m, his share of the action shrank to $7.1m in 2015 and in 2016 he has had to get by on $5.46m.

The “Battle of Sturgis” continues with the now decades old controversy about “Sturgis” rights ownership taking a new twist. There have been many strands of dispute that have resulted in claims and counter claims over intellectual property ownership. However, Rushmore Photo & Gifts (RPG) of Rapid City, the local Nieman family and Walmart stores have won a case brought against it by Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Inc. (SMRI - over sales of “Sturgis” branded merchandise) after six years, being told they had valid defences against SMRI’s trademark ownership infringement claims, while upholding SMRI’s trademark rights.

The NHTSA reports that the highest number of American motorcycle accident fatalities occurs in Florida, accounting for 20 percent of vehicle fatalities – up by 30 percent between 2014 and 2015; 606 died in motorcycle accidents in 2015.

The intriguingly named Frog Specialties of Gardena, California, have been appointed as the exclusive importer and distributor of the respected French made Beringer high-performance brakes program.