ABATE of Michigan Inc.
P.O. Box 99
​Constantine, Mi. 49042

​Phone: 269 435-2058

Fighting for the rights of all motorcyclists since 1976

from the prez

Contact State of Michigan ABATE President: abatensf@tir.com
Phone: 248 684-6576​

From the Prez:

The 2 wheel riding season is about to end.  Or maybe it’s already in the books.  Ice and snow, and the question of why I still live in Michigan.  This year we added the monsoon season to bring up the water level in the great lakes.  Starting Labor Day weekend the month was a whirlwind of activity.  The 115th in Milwaukee with my youngest son, a tour of the UP with my wife, a Las Vegas Wedding (oldest son), and the ride to Denver for the Meeting of the Minds. 

“Meeting of the Minds” (MOTM) is the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, MRF, annual meeting with motorcycle rights groups from across the country.  “Balls” was the executive director of ABATE of Indiana and was instrumental in getting the MRF started.  Jim Rhoades played a big part in setting up a Washington D.C. office for the MRF.  Balls and I both became Chief Instructors for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) in 1980.  We were different than the other Chief Instructors we were ABATE guys.  We were actually both given “seed” funds to start training motorcycle riders.  Balls went private, setting up the ABATE of Indiana training program.  I started the Detroit Metro program using federal funds and we passed legislation starting a state funded program in 1982.  Since 1981, over 100,000 students have been trained in motorcycle safety courses in south east Michigan.  Rider Education sites have been funded across the state with state funds paid for by motorcyclists and with earmarked funds since 1984.

At the MOTM, I was inducted into the MRF Hall of Fame for my contribution to motorcycle rights and motorcycle safety.  In both efforts it’s a team that gets the job done.  The ABATE of Michigan legislative team received an award for HB 4006 and SB 575.  I want to thank Butch, Jim, Hot Rod, Gerry, Jinx, Herb, and all the regions that sent members to legislative days that made us relevant in Lansing.  In the current group of legislators, we went from the past being the helmet guys to being the present motorcycle guys.

SB 575, will add funds to the state motorcycle safety fund starting in the 2019 training season.  ABATE of Michigan not only added funds for motorcycle safety it created a fund for motorcycle awareness.  How that money will be spent is a current concern.  The time has come for us to speak up on HOW the awareness fund is spent.  The current plan is to “Study” the issue.  That is unacceptable!!  OHSP, the Office of Highway Safety Planning, a division of the State Police has released a study of the top ten motorcycle accident intersections in Michigan.  I want a billboard at all of them telling car drivers it a dangerous intersection for motorcyclists and to, “LOOK Twice to Save a Life, Motorcycles are Everywhere.” We need pressure on the legislators to spend this money in the spring to prevent accidents.

It’s been a tough month in region 18.  My thoughts and prayers go out to the families that are suffering though the recent fatalities.  There is no instant cure for such a great family loss.  My involvement in RJ Wilson’s case this past year showed how weak the legal system is concerning motorcycle fatalities.  Prosecutors feel that can’t win in a jury trial.  The defendant’s lawyers know they only have to convince 1 juror to find the defendant not guilty, causing a mistrial.  Case in point, the Chad Wolfe case.  Hit a state trooper, drag him 5 miles, and get off, because he was on a motorcycle.  We are going to try in 2019 to address this issue with legislation.  Enough is enough.

Ride if you can,